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Cancer Screening Recommendations

Every person is somehow at risk of developing a form of cancer, and these risks increase with time, based on several factors. Knowing your risk factors and keeping track of your cancer-related health information can help you stay healthy. Screening is one of the ways to find cancer early before it affects other body tissues and organs. It also helps to treat it on time and reduce the risks of dying from cancer.

The American Cancer Society has put forth screening recommendations for various common cancers. Doctors use different tests to identify cancerous cells in the body and the extent they have spread. Consult with your doctor to decide which is the best screening test for you.

Here are some types of cancers and their screening recommendations:

  • Prostate cancer – Screening for prostate cancer is recommended at age 50. However, if you are at high risk, talk to your doctor and arrange to start your screening early at age 45. You are at higher risk if your family has a history of prostate cancer or if you are an African American.
  • Lung cancer – If you are between 55-70 years old, have a history of heavy smoking, or are still smoking, get a lung cancer screening test. Screening should be a health routine for everyone, and it can help save your life if the cancer is detected early. Your doctor will help you decide the best screening test for you.
  • Colorectal CancerRegular screening recommendations for colorectal cancer should start at age 45. There are several screening options, and your doctor can advise you on the right test. If you have irritable bowel disease or your family has a history of colorectal cancer, then you are at high risk, and you need to get screened earlier.
  • Breast cancer – You can screen for breast cancer if you are a woman aged between 40 and 44 years. Those at 45-54 years can get screened once every year, while healthy women aged 55 and above can get tested every one or two years. You are at high risk if you have certain gene mutations or have a family history of breast cancer. In this case, start your screening at age 30.

Screening for cancer is vital for everyone. Therefore, you should not overlook it, for you may save your own or your loved one’s life.

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