Cancer prevention. Four screening tests you should get every year
Over the last decades, science have worked to discover the cure for cancer. This has been an infinite quest that still looks far away from its end, but it’s surely not impossible. Cancer is a group of diseases that affect cell growth in your body, causing a potential invasion or spreading to other parts of the body. This is a letal disease that affects every part of a human’s body and can be silent until it’s too late.
Prevention is key when it comes to cancer. Since there is no proved cure for it, it’s important that you get regular tests in order to determine cancer in its earlier stages. Detecting cancer in an early stage is one of the main reasons of success in the erradication of cancer from your body.
The process of checking your body for cancer before you have visible symptoms is called screening. Getting screening tests may detect cancer cells earlier and help define treatments that are likely to work best.
Our English speaking doctors recommend you get this four screening tests at least once a year in order to stay healthy and reduce the risks of developing cancer without noticing until it’s too late:
Long time smoker? Check your lungs
Lung screening is usually recommended if you’re a regular smoker or are 55 years old or older. Testing your lungs for lung cancer is very easy, as any abnormality will easily be visible to a trained doctor through regular X-rays.
This type of cancer is usually found in older people, and it’s the second most common type of cancer. Organizations like the American Cancer Society stated that there would be about 228,820 new cases of lung cancer for 2020. There has also evidence that these cancer affects more men than women.
If you’re at risk of suffering lung cancer, talk to your doctor about it. These are the most common tests he or she will perform on you in order to look for cancer cells in your lungs:
- Imaging tests. Simple X-rays images of your lungs may be enough for your doctor to detect abnormal masses in your lungs. A nodule is usually something worrying your doctors may find in your lungs. If X-rays do no detect anything, your doctor might ask for a CT scan in order to reveal smaller lesions in your lungs.
- Sputum cytology. This kind of test is performed by looking at the sputum of regular coughing. This body fluid can reveal the presence of lung cancer cells. You may get this test on you if you’re cuching regularly.
- Tissue sample (biopsy). If your doctor finds something abnormal in your lungs, he or she can perform a series of procedures to determine the nature of these tissue. Some of them may include taking a sample of the tissue in order to see it in a lab and examine it. Technology on this kind of tests have been improving overthe years and getting easier, more accurate results over the years.
Colom test: why everybody needs it
Colom cancer appears initially in the form of small benign polyps that will turn to cancer cells in the future. This type of cancer affects people of all ages and it is placed in your intestines but will spread through all your body if not treated on time.
This type of screening is very important as it can find problems that can be treated before cancer develops or spreads. Yearly regular screenings are recommended to reduce the risk for death and complications caused by colorectal cancer.
- Stool test. It is common that this type of cancer causes small amounts of bleeding. This amount cannot be seen on the naked eye, but your doctor may test your stool for blood found there. This test works for early stages of cancer as it looks for a symptom that appears as soon as you start developing polyps in your intestines.
- Sigmoidoscopy. Doctors usually perform this test at the same time they do the stool test. It is done by using a small scope to view the lover part of your colon. It’s not as accurate as it only examines a segment of your colon, but its combination with the stool test is really helpful to get higher chances of finding cancer during the test.
- Colonoscopy. Colonoscopies act like sigmoidoscopies, but the entire colon can be examined by this test. If your doctor considers its necessary to do a colonoscopy on you, he or she will give you relaxing medicine. Keep that in mind because you may need to go with somebody the day you get the test because of this.
Skin cancer is becoming more common each day. In order to prevent this kind of cancer, doctors recommend protecting your skin with sunscreen everytime you go out in the sun, specially if you have fair sensitive skin. It is very important that you protect your skin, as this type of cancer is one of the most letal.
- Examine your skin. If you’re vulnerable to suffering from skin conditions, you should examine your skin regularly and become it a habit. Keep an eye on dark spots or simply new changes that may be affecting your skin condition. You’ll thank yourself for this habit as it will prevent you from finding cancer symptoms when it’s too late. Additional to this, you shoud get regular yearly skin tests from a doctor because you may be missing some of the symptoms due to misunderstanding.
- Get a skin biopsy. This procedure is like the one described above and it’s the second step after finding evidence of abnormal growth in your skin. Your doctor may consider this test necessary if he finds a strange formation in your skin or something that could threathen your health. The doctor will take a sample of your skin and scientists in a lab will test it for possible cancer presence.
If you’re a woman, get a Mammography every year
Our English speaking doctors recommend you test yourself for possible abnormal bumps or spots in your breast. There are several techniques for auto-exam of your breast and it is very easy to do it! Additional to this, our doctors recommend you visit a special doctor each year for a regular mammography.
A mammography is a test done by an X-ray technician that consists in taking X-rays images from your breast in order to examine if there is anything in them that might affect your health. This procedure is painless and really fast to do, however you may feel a little uncomfortable during the process as your breast will be flatened against a glass.
If you’re a man, get a prostate exam
After turning 40, it is important that you get yearly check-ups of your prostate in order to prevent from prostate cancer. This test is really important and it is usually performed by a specialist that will immediately know if there is something going on with your prostate or not. Further exams may be needed after the first check and will be determined if the doctor finds any reason to continue the screening.
All these regular screening tests are key in order to discover and cure cancer on time. You should get these at least once a year. Cancer is also an inherited desease, so if you have cancer running in your family you might want to do these tests twice a year.
Keep in touch with your family doctor and he or she will know which tests you might need and will be better for you according to your health condition, age and health history.
Our doctors are capable of do some of these screenings on you or even connect you to the top doctors that can perform these tests on you. Don’t doubt in calling us if you ever need a doctor in one of our cities!