Cancer Screenings: Key to Early Detection

young female doctor with middle aged female patient

Routine cancer screenings are the key to detecting your current risks for cancer, helping both you and your doctor plan a response in advance. They’re becoming more and more common in regular doctor’s visits because of the various benefits they possess. The earlier cancer is detected during a treatment, the easier it will be to treat.

What is a Cancer Screening?

Cancer screenings help detect and, in some cases, diagnose cancer. They are typically performed on patients before they begin to show symptoms of the disease as a precaution to rule out any illnesses they may have. Cancer screening tests come in various forms, but these are the most common:

  • Physical exams where the patient’s body is thoroughly examined for any abnormalities. During this exam a patient’s medical history is also examined for any past illnesses that can affect his or her chances of developing cancer.
  • Genetic tests where the doctor looks for certain gene mutations that are linked to cancer.
  • Laboratory tests where the doctor takes test samples of urine, blood, or body tissue.

Some cancer screenings are already part of your regular physical exams. If you’re a woman for example, you may have pap smears or mammograms at your annual doctor’s visit. It’s a testament to modern medical technology that cancer screenings are becoming a normal, regular procedure at check-ups.

How Cancer Screenings Help to Detect Cancer Early

The most important step in the fight against cancer is detecting it early enough for a successful treatment plan. This is possible with cancer screenings. It’s possible to have developed cancer and not display any symptoms. Medical screenings will be able to detect the disease before it starts manifesting as physical symptoms. By the time someone does begin to show symptoms, it means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. If abnormal tissue is found early enough it may be easier to treat and cure the patient. Cancer screenings have helped save the lives of countless people who would have otherwise not known that they had cancer until it was too late.

Why Are Cancer Screening So Important?

Cancer screenings allow patients to make informed decisions. Even if you do not have cancer, it is still important to undergo a screening so that you are aware of your current and future risks for developing the disease.

Cancer screenings are also important because, as previously mentioned, they are the key to detecting cancer early. Some cancers spread throughout the body without any signs or symptoms, and an early cancer screening can stop its progression sooner.

When Should I Undergo a Cancer Screening?

The answer: regularly. The risk factors for developing cancer change depending on your age, sex, race or ethnicity, family history and lifestyle. With all of these factors playing a role in your chances of developing cancer, it’s important to go for cancer screenings routinely throughout your life so that you are always informed and prepared for the next step.

The general rule of thumb is that you should begin going for regular screenings once you turn 45, no matter your lifestyle. The risks and chances vary for different cancers, so it’s always best to go for screenings, especially if multiple cancers run in your family’s medical history.

Cancer Screenings in Fall River & Fairhaven, MA

It is never too early to start planning ahead. If you or a loved one wants to begin preparing for the future, turn to Southcoast Health. We conduct a variety of cancer screenings. Current cancer treatments are more effective than ever, and that is thanks to advanced cancer screenings. Protect and be informed about your health.