Regular Cancer Screenings: Early Detection Saves Lives
As we all know, cancer is a deadly disease that affects millions of people every year. It can develop in any part of the body and can be difficult to detect in its early stages. This is why regular cancer screenings are so important. They can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable, and can help save lives.
Cancer screenings can help detect cancer early, before it has a chance to spread. Early detection is key to successful treatment and can significantly increase a patient’s chance of survival. Regular cancer screenings can also help identify cancer risk factors and provide an opportunity to take preventative measures.
Who should get screened:
People at average risk for cancer should follow the screening guidelines recommended for their age and gender. Those at high risk due to family history, genetic mutations, or exposure to certain carcinogens should talk to their doctor about a personalized screening plan.
When to get screened:
- Breast cancer: Women aged 40-49 should talk to their doctor about when to start mammograms, while women aged 50-74 should get mammograms every two years.
- Cervical cancer: Women aged 21-29 should get a Pap test every three years, while women aged 30-65 can get a Pap test every three years or a combination of Pap and HPV test every five years.
- Colorectal cancer: Adults aged 45-75 should get screened for colorectal cancer with a stool-based test, a colonoscopy, or other recommended tests.
- Lung cancer: Adults aged 50-80 who have a history of smoking should talk to their doctor about getting a low-dose CT scan.
- Prostate cancer: Men aged 50-70 should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening.
What are some common cancer screenings?
There are many different types of cancer screenings available, including:
- Mammograms: A screening test for breast cancer that uses X-rays to detect any abnormalities in the breast tissue.
- Pap smears: A test that checks for abnormal cells in the cervix, which can be a sign of cervical cancer.
- Colonoscopies: A test that examines the colon for any abnormal growths or polyps, which can be a sign of colorectal cancer.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests: A blood test that measures the level of PSA in the blood, which can be a sign of prostate cancer.
It is important to note that not all screening tests are appropriate for all people. Your doctor can help you determine which tests are right for you based on your individual risk factors.
What should I expect during a screening?
The process for cancer screenings can vary depending on the type of test. Some tests, like mammograms and colonoscopies, require special preparation beforehand. Your doctor can give you specific instructions for how to prepare for your screening. During the screening itself, you may experience some discomfort or mild pain, but the procedure should not be overly painful.
What happens if something abnormal is detected?
If something abnormal is detected during your cancer screening, your doctor may recommend further testing or treatment. This can be a scary and overwhelming experience, but it is important to remember that early detection is key to successful treatment. Your doctor can provide you with information about your options and support you throughout the process.
At MGM Cancer Institute, we understand the importance of regular cancer screenings. That’s why we offer a variety of screening options, including mammograms, colonoscopies, and more. Our experienced staff can help you determine which screenings are right for you and provide you with the support you need throughout the process.
In essence, regular cancer screenings are a vital part of maintaining good health and can help detect cancer early, when it is most treatable. If you are due for a screening or have questions about cancer screenings, talk to one of our specialists. Call us at +91 44 4251 5151 to schedule an appointment with us.
Dr MA Raja
Senior Consultant – Medical Oncology.
Director of Oncology Services Chairman, Medical Advisory Board