Cancer Screening Guidelines

Posted By: admin | Posted on: 23 September, 2017 10:48 am

Cancer Screening tests : Guidelines by Age

Cancer Screening tests means performing cancer diagnostic test in individuals to detect cancer. Screening enables cancer to detect at very early stage, such as calcium deposition (calcification) phase and in an organ-specific location, making it easier to treat, compare to a cancer that had develop to advance stages and spread to other vital organs or the lymph nodes (the system that cleans infections from fluids and transports them in the body).

If a recommend screening for cancer is ignored until symptoms begin to show, by this time, cancer would have enlarge and possibly invade other organs, making it difficult to treat. Due to this, the chances of success in therapy is reduced. Screening tests are not commonly use for cancer diagnosis; if in case a positive result is obtained; accordingly, you need to perform more tests to confirm cancer.

 

Cancer Screening Tests
Cancer Screening For Different Cancer Types

(Image Credits – shutterstock.com)

 

The choices you make about diet, exercise, and other habits can affect your overall health as well as your risk for developing cancer and other serious diseases. It’s also important to follow recommendations for cancer screening tests. However, screening tests are used to find cancer in people who have no symptoms. Screening gives you the best chance of finding cancer as early as possible – while it’s small and before it has spread.


As a matter of fact, as per the statistics of American Cancer Society (2016), Cancer is the second most common death in the USA, accounting for almost 1:4 deaths. Americans diagnosed with cancer this year are more than 1.685 million. More than 595,000 will die from Cancer.

The tabs below provide information on healthy lifestyle choices that can help lower your cancer risk, and cancer screening test recommendations by age and gender.

Why do I need screening test even if I don’t have symptoms of cancer?

Cancer Screening for breast, colorectal, Cervical and Prostate Cancer
Cancer Screening For Different types of Cancers 

Screening tests check for the existence of cancer in a particular organ or tissue in the body even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms  to have a screening test.

Studies have shown that as one gets older, the chances of getting cancer increase. For this reason, it is recommended that even if we don’t show symptoms of cancer, we should still screen for the commonly occurring cancers beginning at the age of 40 years for ladies and 50 years for gentlemen.

Your Primary Healthcare doctor will let you know about them when you go for your annual health exam at the required screening age. The poster below shows you the plausible examinations and tests need to be carry out for your screening.

If you are 50 to 64, these tests for certain cancers are recommend for your age and gender:

Men

Colon Cancer Testing

Colon Cancer Screening To Detect Colon or Colorectal cancer
Colon Cancer Screening

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All men at average risk should start testing at age 50. There are several testing options. Talk with a health care provider about which tests are best for you and how often testing should be done.

Prostate Cancer Testing

At the age of 50 years and over, you will be examined for prostate cancer by digital rectal exam (DRE) method. Your doctor will use gloved, lubricated finger to get into your rectum and feel the prostate gland. Doctor will be able to tell if the size is normal or they have enlarged. If they are enlarged, it is a suspicion of prostate cancer and doctor will request for further tests.

Your doctor will order for blood withdrawal to check the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. Elevated PSA level is an indication of prostate cancer. The test will be order again after a period of time and if the PSA level continues to rise rapidly, it is a sign of prostate cancer and different tests will be conducted to confirm it.

Lung Cancer Testing

Lung Cancer Symptoms And When You Should consult the doctor
Symptoms Of Lung Cancer

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If you are age 55 or older, talk to a health care provider about your smoking history and whether you should get yearly low-dose CT scans to screen for early lung cancer. Screening may benefit if you are an active or former smoker (quit within the past 15 years), have no signs of lung cancer, and have a 30 pack-year smoking history. (A pack-year is 1 pack of cigarettes per day per year. One pack per day for 30 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years would both be 30 pack-years.) You should discuss the benefits, limitations, risks, and potential costs of screening with a health care provider before testing is done. You should also find out how much the test will cost – not all health insurances cover it.

 

Women

Breast Cancer Testing

Mammography For Breast Cancer Screening
Breast Cancer Screening – Mammography

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Your doctor will physically examine you to check for a lump in your breasts and the lymph nodes under your arms (axillary lymph nodes) for an indication of breast cancer. To clarify, report any changes in the way your breasts look or feel to a health care provider right away.
Women in the age from 50 to 54 should get mammograms every year. Be sure you understand the pros and cons of breast cancer screening.
Starting at age 55, you would have to repeat getting mammograms every 2 years, or you can continue to get one every year.
It’s important to know if you are at higher than average risk for breast cancer. Further, if any other tests are required is to be discussed with health care provider.

 

Cervical Cancer Testing

Different methods for cervical cancer screening
Cervical Cancer Screening

(Image Credits – shutterstock.com)

In detail, your doctor will perform a pelvic examination to obtain PAP smear for a laboratory test of abnormal cells. PAP smear is performed by opening the vagina and the cervix area with a spatula from the lower uterus (cervix area). The cells in the smear are then sent to a Lab for two main tests:

a) microscopic examination of cells for the presence of any precancerous or cancerous cells.

b) Human Papilla Virus (HPV) DNA test for infection by the virus, which usually occurs through sexual intercourse. This screening test starts at age of 21, and it is performed every 3 years until the age of 29 years, after which it is done every 5 years until the age of 65 years.

 

Moreover, if the test results show abnormality for precancerous cells or abnormal growth of epithelial tissue (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; CIN) or abnormality in the thin flattened cells on the surface of the cervix (squamous epithelial lesion; SIL), your doctor will ask you to return for further tests such as using a lighted, magnifying instrument called colposcope to examine the cervix and vagina areas and obtain biopsy for further tests (diagnostic tests).

No testing is needed after a hysterectomy that remove the uterus and cervix as long as it was done for reasons not relate to cervical cancer.
Women with a history of a serious cervical pre-cancer should continue testing for 20 years after that diagnosis.

Colon Cancer Testing

All women at average risk should start testing at age of 50. There are several testing options.

Lung Cancer Testing

For instance, if you are age is 55 years or older, talk to a health care provider about your smoking history and whether you should get yearly low-dose CT scans to screen for early lung cancer. If you are an active or former smoker (quit within the past 15 years), have no signs of lung cancer, and have a 30 pack-year smoking history Screening may benefit you. (A pack-year is 1 pack of cigarettes per day per year. One pack per day for 30 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years would both be 30 pack-years.)

The benefits, limitations, risks, and potential costs of screening are discussed with a health care provider before testing is done. You also should find out how much the test will cost – not all health insurances cover it.

Family history, lifestyle habits and high-risk cancer screening

Another important point regarding screening is an individual’s family medical history and lifestyle habits:

You have to fill all the questionnaires at the doctors office. These will include family history  and lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking of alcoholic beverages regularly. In fact, this information provided allows the doctor to decide whether you are at high risk for a particular type of cancer.

Being at high risk means those individuals have the likelihood of being affect by a particular type of cancer. Individuals categorized as high risk for a specific cancer are screened at much earlier ages than low-risk individuals . For example, a screening test for lung cancer can be recommend for a lady whose close family members have had lung cancer and she is also a heavy smoker, and breast cancer screening can be order for a man who has had close male family members with breast cancer. High-risk individuals are also closely monitored through routine check-ups and examine for signs and symptoms by their primary healthcare doctors.

How has screening reduced cancer rate?

  • In time, screening tests detect cancer at very early stage, making it much easier to treat. For example, the graph below shows how initiation of widespread PSA screening of prostate cancer dramatically reduced the incidence of metastasis form from 6.5-7 in 10,000 from 1988-1994. Fortunately, very early detection of prostate cancer has made it one of  most treatable malignancies among several types of cancers. The incidence of metastatic breast cancer has been almost stable, ranging from 1.8-2 in 10,000 from 1975-2010. However, considering the rate of new cases report in the USA each year, it is obvious that widespread mammogram screening has enable the rate to be maintain at a minimum over a long period of time.
  • Having  PSA test  and breast mammogram at  appropriate time can save  life of an individual with susceptibility to cancer.

Special Cancer Screening prices we have across Mumbai.  click here for latest inputs

NM Medical 01. Pathology Male [ Prostrate (PSA), Pancreas (CA 19.9), Liver (AFP)] Rs. 2000
NM Medical 02. Pathology Female [ Ovarian (CA 125), Breast (CA 153), Liver (AFP)] Rs. 2000
NM Medical 03. Pathology / Radiology Male [ Prostrate (PSA), Pancreas (CA 19.9),Liver (AFP),  Colon (CEA), Sonography – Abdomen / Pelvis] Rs. 3750
NM Medical 04. Pathology / Radiology Female [ Ovarian (CA 125), Breast (CA 153), Liver (AFP),  Cervix (PAP Smear), Sonography –Abdomen/ Pelvis] Rs. 3750
NM Medical 05. Adv. Pathology / Radiology Male [ Prostrate (PSA), Pancreas (CA 19.9), Liver (AFP), Colon (CEA),  Sonography –Abdomen/ Pelvis, Testicular (BHCG), Thyroid (Calcitonin), X Ray Chest] Rs. 5500
NM Medical 06. Adv. Pathology / Radiology Female [ Ovarian (CA 125), Breast (CA 153), Liver (AFP), Colon (CEA), Cervix (PAP Smear),  Sonography –Abdomen/ Pelvis, Mammography, Thyroid (Calcitonin), X Ray Chest] Rs. 5500

 

 

 

Reference – American Cancer Society

We have worked with partners to put together special packages for cancer screening. Do review.

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