Five Screenings to Detect Cancer Early

Regular cancer screenings are essential in discovering cancer at an early stage before symptoms appear. If abnormal tissue or cancer is found during regular screenings, doctors can take proactive measures to treat or completely cure the cancer that otherwise would continue to grow undetected. Below is more information on five different cancer screenings and how this form of preventative care can make all the difference in your personal health journey.

Mammograms and Breast Cancer  

1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. Most of these cases are discovered during mammograms. Screening mammograms may detect breast cancer anywhere from 1.5 to 4 years before the disease is clinically evident. Mammograms can help facilitate early treatment and reduce the risk of death.  

Pap Smear and Cervical Cancer  

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is central to the development of cervical neoplasia which is in 99.7% of cervical cancers. Since the introduction of the pap smear test in the 1950s, the death rate from cervical cancer has decreased 74%. It is recommended that women between the ages of 21 and 29 have a pap smear test every three years.  

Colonoscopies and Colorectal Cancer  

Routine colonoscopies can decrease mortality by detecting colorectal cancer at an early age and may decrease incidence of colorectal cancer by removing pre-cancerous polyps, or small cell growth in the lining of the colon. Regular screening, beginning at age 45, is the key to preventative efforts.  

CT Screenings and Lung Cancer  

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of death for cancer related mortalities in both the United States and on a worldwide scale. Survival is dependent upon the stage of lung cancer. Data suggests that the use of low dose CT screenings of the chest helps with early detection of lung cancer before symptoms even arise. Only 6-12% of high-risk individuals that qualify for CT screenings undergo these screenings.  

Screening for Prostate Cancer  

Prostate cancer represents a wide spectrum of diseases that can range from slow malignancies to aggressive malignancies that do require treatment. The key to screening is to maximize the detection of highly aggressive forms of the disease that require immediate attention while also trying to minimize the overtreatment of slow malignancies. From 1993 to 2018, death from prostate cancer has decrease by 52% due to early detection in screenings.  

If you have concerns, call your healthcare provider today to schedule an appointment to discuss any cancer screenings that may be appropriate for you.