There are some types of cancer that can be found early before they had the chance to grow and spread. These types of cancer, when detected and treated early, can have better treatment outcomes.
Screening is a vital component when it comes to early detection of cancer. It simply refers to tests done to an individual, even before he/she experiences symptoms.
Certain types of cancer, such as breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer, have greater chances of treatment success when detected early. Individuals who are at high risk of these diseases can benefit from getting screened regularly.
Screening for Breast Cancer
For breast cancer, mammograms are shown to be the best way to detect it early. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. The American Cancer Society recommends that women ages 50 to 54 get a mammogram each year and age 55 and older, every other year. Regular self-breast exams and annual clinical exams are also key.
Screening for Cervical Cancer
There are two tests that can be helpful for detecting cervical cancer early on. The Pap test can detect abnormal cells in the cervix, which can turn into cancer. HPV test also helps as it looks for the virus, the human papillomavirus, which can cause cell changes in the cervix.
Screening for Colorectal Cancer
Most cases of colorectal cancer develop from precancerous polyps. Screening tests for colorectal cancer are designed to find these precancerous polyps in the colon or rectum. Once detected, these abnormal growths are then recommended for removal, before they can turn into cancer.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Cancer
Each type of cancer yields different signs and symptoms but the following are the most common clinical manifestations of the disease. Having these doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, but it’s a reason to see a doctor especially if they are not getting better:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Skin changes
In certain types of cancer, these signs and symptoms may also be present:
- Changes in bowel habits or bladder function
- Sores that don’t heal
- White patches in the mouth or on the tongue
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Thickening or lump in the breast or other body parts
- Trouble swallowing
- Nagging cough
- Change in wart or mole
Treating Cancer at Premier Surgical Associates
Getting seen by a specialist is the only way to find out if you have cancer. Aside from chemotherapy and radiation therapy, surgery is also an option for treating cancers.
Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland, TN, has physicians who have years of experience in the diagnosis and surgically treating different types of cancer including breast, colorectal, pancreatic, and skin. Talk to your primary care physician about a referral to a Premier Surgical surgeon for cancer treatment.