Want to detect cancer early? Start here.
February 4, 2019 / in Cancer / by UK HealthCare
Today is World Cancer Day. Because cancer has such a profound impact in the United States and across the globe, take an opportunity today to think about how you can fight cancer.
One of the best steps you can take for your health is to be screened for cancer. Screening exams are medical tests done when you’re healthy. It’s like taking a car in for a tuneup. You want to make sure you’re keeping a close check on your body at recommended ages for screenings.
Cancer screening recommendations vary depending on the test or exam and may also vary depending on your age, gender, personal health and family history. Talk with your healthcare provider to see how often you should consider cancer screening and which ones are right for you.
Here are some general guidelines:
- Breast cancer: Mammograms once per year for women 40 and over.
- Skin cancer: Once per year is recommended, but it is best to talk with your healthcare provider to determine your risk.
- Lung cancer: Once per year if you are between the ages 55-74, currently smoke, or have quit within the past 15 years and have an extensive smoking history, such as one pack a day for 30 years. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine your specific eligibility for a lowdose CT scan.
- Colon and rectal cancer: Consult your healthcare provider to determine which test is right for you. In general, most average-risk adults over the age of 50 can be screened once per year with an at-home stool blood test, every five years with a sigmoidoscopy or every 10 years with a colonoscopy.
- Cervical cancer: Women ages 21-65 should talk with their healthcare provider about screening with a Pap smear or human papillomavirus (HPV) test and how often you should have these exams.
Most importantly, pay attention to your body. If you notice any changes, talk to your doctor.
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