Early detection of cancer provides a better treatment outcome. Our physicians at Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville want you to know the two major components of early cancer detection: education and screening.
Education to Promote Early Diagnosis
Learning the warning signs of cancer and taking prompt action can lead to early diagnosis.
The following are potential symptoms of cancer that you should watch out for:
- Change in bowel or bladder habits
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- A sore that doesn’t heal
- Thickening or a lump in the breast or elsewhere
- Nagging or hoarseness of voice
- Obvious change in a wart or mole
If you notice any of these, don’t hesitate to see your physician for an examination or screening.
Screening tests are meant to check your body for cancer before you have symptoms. Each type of cancer has its own screening tests:
It’s a type of X-ray specifically designed to view the breast. Mammography results can show tumors or irregularities in the breast.
- Clinical breast examination
During a clinical breast examination, a medical professional looks and feels for any changes in your breast.
- Breast self-examination
In the breast self-examination, you feel for any changes in your breasts. If you notice any unusuality, you should see a doctor immediately.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing
During HPV testing, cells are scraped from the outside of a woman’s cervix. This test may be done alone or with Pap test.
- Pap test
Just like HPV testing, this also uses cells collected from the outside of a woman’s cervix. The pathologist then analyzes the sample for precancerous and cancerous cells.
Using a lighted tube called a colonoscope, the doctor checks the entire colon for polyps or cancer.
This test is used for checking the lower colon. In this test, the doctor uses a flexible, lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope.
- Fecal occult blood test
Blood in the stool can be a sign for colorectal cancer. This test determines the presence of blood in the stool or feces.
- Double contrast barium enema
If you can’t have a colonoscopy, the doctor may opt for this test to outline the colon and the rectum.
- Low-dose helical or spiral computed tomography scan
This test takes several X-rays from different angles of the body. Using a computer, the results are then combined into a detailed three-dimensional image that shows any abnormality or tumor.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
This is a test that measures the PSA level in the blood. Most men with prostate cancer have higher than normal PSA levels.
- Digital rectal examination
In this test, the doctor inserts a gloved lubricated finger into a man’s rectum to feel for any irregularity in the surface of the prostate.
- Complete skin examination
The doctor checks for any signs of skin cancer.
Using a handheld device, the doctor evaluates the size, shape, and pigmentation patterns of skin lesions.
Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville has a team of specialists who have years of experience in the surgical treatment of cancer. To learn more about our board-certified Surgical Oncologists, please visit our Surgical Oncology webpage at https://www.premiersurgical.com/premier-surgical-services/surgical-oncology/