Is it time for your yearly physical? Mark your calendar for World Cancer Day on February 4 to unite against cancer and raise awareness for prevention, detection, and treatment. Did you know that simple and effective screening not only detects cancer early but reduces symptoms all together? For our elderly citizens, this can add on healthy years to spend with loved ones and extend quality of life.
According to Cancer.org, here are the top four recommended cancer screening tests that can detect cancer early on:
1. Colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and stool tests (high-sensitivity fecal occult blood tests and stool DNA tests)
Several screening tests have been shown to reduce the risk of dying from colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy not only detect colorectal cancer early but also help prevent the disease in the first place. It is generally recommended that people who are at average risk for colorectal cancer have screening with one of these tests at ages 50 through 75.
2. Low-dose helical computed tomography
This test to screen for lung cancer has been shown to reduce lung cancer deaths among heavy smokers ages 55 to 74.
This method to screen for breast cancer has been shown to reduce deaths from the disease among women ages 40 to 74, especially those over age 50.
4. Pap test and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing
These tests, which can be used both alone and in combination, can lead to both early detection and prevention of cervical cancer. They prevent the disease because they allow abnormal cells to be found and treated before they become cancer. Testing is generally recommended to begin at age 21 and to end at age 65 in senior women who have had adequate prior screening and are not otherwise at high risk for cervical cancer.
If you are unsure if any of these screening tests are right for you, we recommend you talk to your doctor at your next exam. Effective cancer screening can save lives! Take a stand with us on World Cancer Day and encourage those around you to do the same.