Feb
16
Feb
Bismarck Cancer Center
Feb- Cancer Prevention/Detection

Cancer screenings are medical tests done when you’re healthy, with no signs of illness. They help find cancer early, when the chances for successfully treating the disease are greatest. Find out what cancer screenings are right for you, based on age, gender and family history. 

 

                           Breast Cancer Prevention

Breast cancer screening exams help find breast cancer at an early stage. When found early, the chances for successfully treating the disease are greatest.

Along with regular exams, practice awareness. This means you should stay familiar with your breasts. That way you’ll notice changes, like a new lump or mass. Then, report them to your doctor without delay.

The screening recommendations below apply to most women.

Age 20 to 39

  • Clinical breast exam every one to three years (A health care provider checks for lumps or other changes.)

Age 40 and older

  • Clinical breast exam every year
  • Mammogram every year

Exams for women at increased risk

Women at increased risk have a higher chance of getting breast cancer. This doesn’t mean you will definitely get cancer. But, you may need to start screening at an earlier age, get additional tests or be tested more often.

You’re at increased risk for breast cancer if you fall under one or more of these groups.

  • History of radiation treatment to the chest
  • Genetic mutation, including an abnormality in the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes, CDH1, Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba Syndrome
  • Five-year risk of breast cancer 1.7% or greater at age 35 or older, as defined by a Gail Model calculation. Calculate your risk using the Gail Model.
  • A life-time risk of breast cancer 20% or greater, as defined by models dependent on family history. Women with a strong family history of breast cancer should consider speaking with a genetic counselor.

The screening plans on this page apply to women expected to live for at least 10 years. They’re not for women who have a health condition that may make it hard to diagnose or treat breast cancer. Your doctor can help you decide if you should continue screening after age 75.

 

                  Colorectal Cancer Screening Exams

Cancer screening exams for colon cancer and rectal cancer find cancer at an early stage. When found early, the chances for successfully treating the disease are greatest.

Along with regular exams, practice awareness. This means you should be familiar with your body. That way you’ll notice changes, like bleeding or unusual bowel movements. Then, report them to your doctor without delay.

The screening recommendations below apply to most adults.

Age 50 or older

Follow ONE of the screening options below:

Colonoscopy every 10 years.

Virtual colonoscopy (also called Computed Tomographic Colonography) every five years. A colonoscopy will be performed if polyps are found.

Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) every year. This take-home test finds hidden blood in the stool. This may be a sign of cancer. The FOBT may not prevent colorectal cancer. If your doctor finds blood in your stool, you will need a colonoscopy to find out the cause. The colonoscopy and virtual colonoscopy exams are both preferred by MD Anderson. These exams can find abnormal colon polyps before they turn into cancer.

Your doctor can help you decide if you should continue screening after age 75. MD Anderson doesn’t recommend screening for adults after age 85.

If you choose a virtual colonoscopy, check with your insurance provider before scheduling an exam. Not all insurance providers cover the cost of this exam.

Exams for adults at increased or high risk

Adults at increased or high risk are more likely to get colorectal cancer. This doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get cancer. But, you may need to start screening at an earlier age, get additional tests or be tested more often.

You’re at increased or high risk if you fall under one or more of these groups:

  • Personal history of precancerous colon polyps (adenomas)
  • Family history of colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps (adenomas). In other words, a family member had or has colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps.
  • Personal history of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis or suspected Familial Adenomatous Polyposis without yet having undergone genetic testing
  • Personal history of Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer or family history of Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)

 

                      Lung Cancer Screening Exams

At this time, lung cancer screening is recommended only for adults at high risk. That’s because they have a higher chance of getting the disease.

Being at high risk doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get lung cancer. But, you may need to start regular screening exams. So if you do get cancer, your doctor finds it at its earliest stage. When found early, the chances for successfully treating the disease are greatest.

You should get screened for lung cancer if you:

  • Are a current smoker (or former smoker who quit in the past 15 years)
  • Have a 30 pack-year smoking history (For example, one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years).

If you fall into this group, follow the screening schedule below:

Age 55 to 80

  • Low-dose computerized tomography (CT or CAT scan) every year

Check with your insurance provider before scheduling an exam. Not all insurance providers cover the cost of this exam.

Along with regular exams, practice awareness. This means you should be familiar with your body. That way you’ll notice changes, like a cough that doesn’t go away or chest pain. Then, report them to your doctor without delay.

 

                     Prostate cancer screening exams

The screenings below apply to most men:

Age 45

  • Discuss screening risks and benefits with a health care provider.
  • If you choose to be screened, get a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
  • Strongly consider digital rectal exam, if you choose to be screened.
  • Continue testing as indicated by your previous test results.

Age 75 or older

  • Your doctor can help you decide if you should continue screening for prostate cancer.
  • MD Anderson doesn’t recommend cancer screening for men age 85 or older.

Along with regular exams, practice awareness. This means you should be familiar with your body. That way you’ll notice changes, like irregular urination. Then, report them to your doctor without delay.

Exams for men at increased risk

Men at increased risk are more likely to get prostate cancer. This doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get cancer. But you may need to start screening at an earlier age or be tested more often.

You’re at increased risk if you fall under one or more of these groups:

  • Family history (especially father, brother, son) of prostate cancer
  • African-American

Follow the screening schedule below if you’re at increased risk:

Age 40

  • Discuss screening risks and benefits with your health care provider.
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam should be intitated

 

                    Skin Cancer Screening Exams

Skin cancer screening is recommended only for adults at increased risk. That’s because they have a higher chance of getting the disease.

Being at increased risk doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get skin cancer. But, you may need to start regular screening exams. So if you do get skin cancer, your doctor finds it at its earliest stage. When found early, the chances for successfully treating the disease are greatest.

Along with regular exams, practice awareness. This means you should be familiar with your skin. That way you’ll notice changes. Then, report them to your doctor without delay.

Promptly show your doctor any:

  • Suspicious skin area
  • Sore that doesn’t heal
  • Change in a mole or freckle

Get a full-body skin cancer screening exam every year if you identify with one or more of the groups below:

Inherited risks

  • Red hair and freckles albinism
  • More than 50 moles
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Genetic syndromes that make you sensitive to the sun

Environmental exposures

  • Too much sun exposure
  • Frequent trips to the tanning salon
  • One or more blistering sunburn(s)

Personal pre-cancerous conditions

  • Actinic keratosis
  • Dysplastic nevi (unusual moles)
  • Personal skin cancer history
  • Basal and squamous cell cancer

Prior treatment

  • Radiation treatment
  • Immuosuppressive treatment
  • Other cancer treatments that increase risk

 

 

 

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