August 2014

Screening Cancer

Screening Cancer and What You Can Do to Prevent Cancer

 

 

What Is Cancer Screening and Who Needs It?

Cancer screening examinations help to detect cancer at its earliest, and most treatable, stages. The following Tables outlines the schedule for testing and routine screening evaluations for several cancers.

 


Women

 

Type of Exam

How Often

Breast Self-Examinations

Monthly

Breast Exam (by a health care professional)

Every 1 to 3 years; annually after age 40

Mammogram

Annually, age 40 and over

Pap Smear

Annually

Digital Rectal Fecal Occult Blood Test

Annually, age 50 and over

Flexible Sigmoidscopy

Very 5 years, age 50 and over

Total Skin Examination

Yearly



Men

Type of Exam

How Often

Testicular Self-Examination

Monthly

PSA Prostate-specific antigen) Blood Test

Annually, age 50 to 70

Digital Rectal Examination

Annually after age 40

Fecal Occult Blood Test

Annually, age 50 and over

Flexible Sigmoidscopy

Very 5 years, age 50 and over

Total Skin Examination

Yearly




Cancer Prevention Guidelines

Healthy lifestyle habits hold the key to cancer prevention. Many people think that cancer is inevitable, but for many types of cancer this is not true. Between 65% and 85% of all cancers can be prevented by simple, healthy lifestyle changes.

1. Avoid or Eliminate Use of Tobacco.

You can quit! Instead of joining the cigar and cigarette craze or holding onto this habit, try to eliminate the use of tobacco entirely. This is one of the most important ways to prevent cancers of the lung, mouth, throat, bladder, and pancreas. Chewing tobacco is just as harmful and addictive as smoking. If you need a cessation program to stop smoking, ask your doctor about it now. A program combining individual or group counseling with aids such as the nicotine patch or gum, and even antidepressants, can make it easy to become a nonsmoker.

2. Limit Sun Exposure

If you enjoy bathing in the warm glow of the sun, make sure that you do this before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. Be sure to apply sun screen at least 30 minutes before going out and exposing your self to direct sunlight. Be sure that you always wear a hat. Keep children under cover by having them wear a T-shirt and hat at the beach or when playing in the sun. Most people get half of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, and only three blistering sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer. That "healthy, sun-tan" that you may prize is often is a sign of skin damage that can result in melanoma and other skin cancers. And, remember, if you want your skin to look like leather, keep tanning your hide.

3. Limit or Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption

While some studies suggest that limited alcohol consumption can reduce heart attacks, there are other studies that suggest that as little as three drinks per day can increase your risk of cancer of the colon, breast, and liver as well as several other organs. If you choose to drink at all, limit your alcohol consumption to as little as possible and nor more than one or two drinks a day. Alcohol when combined with smoking, greatly increases the risk of head and neck cancer.

4. Eat 5 or More Servings of Fruit and Vegetables Each Day

People who eat relatively large amounts of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet have a significantly decreased risk of developing several types of cancers. It is often easier than most people think to eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Keep carrot and celery sticks on the top shelf of the refrigerator, next to a low-fat dip. A colorful bowl of apples, oranges, pears, and bananas on the kitchen counter can double as an attractive decoration and may have a lifesaving value.

5. Avoid Refined and Processed Foods and Foods High in Additives

A diet which is high in refined and processed foods often is also high in food additives, food dyes, colorings, preservatives and other chemicals. While many have been proven not to cause cancer others are still not proven. While studies showing that individual chemicals do not cause cancer there are few if any studies demonstrating what happens when specific additives and chemicals are combined. It is best to eat healthy who foods, grains and organic meats and vegetables.

 

 6. Annual Screenings Are Recommended for All Adults

Early detection provides the best opportunity for successful treatment. Your doctor has available for you a wide range of comprehensive screening and early detection services as well as healthy lifestyle programs to prevent. Some of these services include cancer risk assessment, nutrition counseling, smoking cessation, and genetic counseling and testing. It is easier than you think to fight cancer before it starts. (See Table -1 above).


Know Your Family's History of Cancer

Know Your Family's History of Cancer

Ignorance is not bliss - especially when it comes to cancer. Some cancers tend to run in families, so knowing what diseases and cancers to look for can be a very big help. If you know what you are looking for than you Self-examinations and annual cancer screening exams can be much more valuable as they can be focused and early detection can be enlisted to find and treat cancers and other diseases in their very earliest stages.