Cancer Screening

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Cancer Screening

Cancer screening will prevent cancer deaths, if done regularly.

Colon Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Cervical Cancer and Lung Cancer are some common cancers. 

As per the National Cancer Institute, the number of cancer cases are increasing worldwide.

  • Cancer is among the leading causes of death across the globe. In 2018, there were 18.1 million new cases and 9.5 million cancer-related deaths worldwide.
  • By 2040, the number of new cancer cases per year is expected to rise to 29.5 million and the number of cancer-related deaths to 16.4 million.

A patient generally develops signs or symptoms of cancer in the later stages of the disease. Cancer screening prevents or detects the cancer in early stages which improves the chances of survival. 

Breast cancer screening:

Breast cancer screening should begin at age 40. If there is an immediate family history of breast cancer, screening should begin 10 years prior to the family member's diagnosis.

From the initial exam, breast cancer screenings should be repeated every year. 

If a radiologist finds anything suspicious (benign/malignant), he may recommend you to do additional compression views with an ultrasound, or follow-up imaging in some months. If there is any doubt about cancer, the radiologist will recommend a breast biopsy. 


Prostate cancer screening:

It is done by a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test during the blood test.

This test should be done every year after the age of 40 years.


Cervical cancer screening:

Once a female is sexually active, she should do cervical cancer screening. It is recommended to do the screening between the ages of 25-65 every 3-5 years. For high risk patients with HPV infection or multiple partners, more frequent screening should be done.


Colon cancer screening:

Colon cancer screening can be done by a yearly stool test (immunofecal test) which detects blood in stool; a cologuard test performed once every 3 years which detects blood or cancer cells in stool ; or by a colonoscopy every 5-10 years. 

Stool tests help in early detection and colonoscopies help in early detection and prevention as if there is any polyp found during the procedure, it is removed and sent for biopsy. 


Lung cancer screening in smokers:

This is done by a low dose CT scan of the chest. The CT scan is done yearly in patients who have more than 20 pack-years of smoking history. It is done for patients between 50-80 years of age.