Importance of Preventive Screenings
About Preventive Screenings
There are many different types of screenings and tests to catch a disease before it starts or in its early stages where it is easily treatable. Most people wait until they are experiencing signs and symptoms of a serious disease before they seek medical treatment. Making sure to complete all preventive health screenings can protect your Quality of Life.
Colorectal Cancer Screenings
When caught in the early stages, colon cancer is treatable in about 90% of people.
The American Cancer Society recommends those at average risk get screened starting at the age of 45.
Many patients with early-stage colon cancer have no symptoms and are diagnosed through screening.
The following test are available for early detection.
- Colonoscopy- Examination of the inside of the colon using a colonoscope.
- Fecal Occult Blood Test– A lab test used to check stool samples for hidden blood.
- DNA Stool Test- Finds cells in a stool sample to detect changes in DNA.
Breast Cancer Screenings
Clinical Breast Exam– Examination by a doctor or nurse, who uses his or her hands to feel for lumps and other changes.
Breast Self-Awareness– Being familiar with your breast’s look and feel can help you notice symptoms such as lumps, pain, or changes in size that may be of concern to discuss with your health care provider.
Mammogram – X-Ray picture of the breast. Mammograms should be completed every two years unless recommended otherwise by your health care provider. Mammograms can detect cancer up to three years before it can be felt.
Cervical Cancer Screenings
Pap Smear Test collects cervical cells so they can be checked for Precancerous cells, and cervical cancer cells and can check for changes caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that may-if left untreated- turn into cervical cancer.
Women ages 21-29 should have a pap test every 3 years.
Women ages 30-65 should have a pap test every 3 years; HPV test every 5 years and HPV/PAP co-test every 5 years.
Women older than 65 years should talk to their healthcare provider to learn if screenings are still needed.
HPV Test checks cells for infection with High-Risk HPV types that can cause cervical cancer. The HPV Vaccine targets the HPV types that most commonly cause cervical cancer. It is recommended for everyone ages 11 through 26 years.