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5 Important Cancer Screenings

Cancer screenings identify cancer before symptoms develop. Detecting cancer early may make it easier to treat. Though a variety of tests are used to scan for different types of cancer, certain screenings have been shown to lower the chance of dying from the disease. Other tests may find cancer, but may not increase your chance of survival. The following five screenings are important to consider.

1. Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths, often has no symptoms in its early stages, which is why screening for the disease is critical. A colorectal cancer screening can help your doctor find and remove growths (colorectal polyps) before they turn cancerous.

2. Lung Cancer

Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. A low-dose CT (LDCT) scan can detect lung cancer early. If you’re a current or former smoker, talk with your doctor about whether lung cancer screening is right for you. If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, the Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center can treat even the most difficult cases.

3. Breast Cancer

Women at any age can develop breast cancer. Regular breast self-exams can help you familiarize yourself with your breasts to alert your doctor of any changes. Mammography is the best screening tool for doctors to find breast cancer and treat it early. Schedule your mammogram today.

4. Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer, one of the most serious types of cancer in women, rarely presents early symptoms. Pap tests screen for cervical cancer. If you’re due for a pap test, schedule a well-woman exam with your OB/GYN.

5. Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths for American men. Commonly used screening tests for prostate cancer include Digital Rectal Exams (DRE) and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood tests. If you’re 50 or older, talk with your doctor about a prostate cancer screening.

Keep in mind these five cancer screenings are used to find cancer before symptoms develop. If signs of cancer are already present, your doctor may use other diagnostic exams.

If you have concerning symptoms or indicators of certain cancers—such as skin cancer, testicular cancer, or brain cancer—visit a medical professional as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment with your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician to discuss which screenings are right for you.

 

Sources:

Colorectal Cancer: The No. 2 Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths
Lung Cancer: Early Detection

Lung Cancer: Symptoms
How to Do a Breast Self-Exam

3 Mammography Myths
Cervical Cancer: Symptoms
Pap Smear
Prostate Cancer Awareness: Grow a Moustache and Get Informed!
Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer

 

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