In the United States alone, there are 439.2 new cases of cancers per every 100,000 men and women per year. The most common cancer affecting women is breast cancer, and prostate cancer for men. The main objective of cancer screening is to detect malignancy before the symptoms show. Early screening enables the clinicians to detect and analyze the cancer. They can then advise on proper prevention and treatment approach of the malignancy.
The most effective way of combating cancer related mortality is through early screening. Cancer cells have rapid progression and the more time they stay undetected the bigger the tumor gets, and the more difficult it becomes to treat it. The most common cancers should be screened regularly. Individuals who are more predisposed to certain types of cancers are also advised to have cancer screening on a regular basis.
Some of the factors that may predispose an individual to cancer include; genetics, gender, age, alcohol, smoking, diet, immunosuppression, obesity, sunlight and radiation. Some of the major screening procedures that individuals are advised to consider include: breast cancer screening, lung cancer screening, prostate cancer screening, colorectal cancer screening, genetic screening, cervical cancer screening and head and neck cancer screening. Women within child-bearing age are advised to go for breast screening at least once annually.
Breast cancers are easily detectable using mammograms. Self-examination can also be done. Cervical cancer is checked using Pap smear tests among other cytology tests done at the hospital. This test attempts to detect malignant cells within the cervix. Colorectal cancer is screened by doing colonoscopy every 10 years. Other tests that can be performed include CT colonography and flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years.
Lung cancer can be detected through CT scans (determined by physician) and a yearly screening using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for heavy smokers and high risk individuals between ages 55 and 80 years old. Prostate cancer screening is done using two tests: prostate specific antigen (PSA) and a digital rectal exam. Prostate cancer often does not show any symptoms except when the tumor presses on the urethra.
Everyone is advised to visit their physicians to help in making decisions concerning screening tests and preventive measures. These visits can help in preventing disease and maintaining good health. Lifestyle and diet changes can be appropriately made with proper advice from your health care professional.