Cancer Prevention and Screening
Types of Cancer Screening
Screening tests can help find cancer at an early stage, before symptoms appear. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat or cure. By the time symptoms appear, the cancer may have grown and spread. This can make the cancer harder to treat or cure.
Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
Several screening tests have been shown to reduce the risk of dying from colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy not only detect colorectal cancer early but also help prevent the disease in the first place. That's because these tests can find abnormal colon growths (polyps) that can be removed before they become cancer.
Tests to screen for lung cancer has been shown to reduce lung cancer deaths among heavy smokers ages 55 to 74. While the current five-year survival rate for lung cancer is only 15 percent, a lung cancer screening test can decrease the chance of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent in patients who are considered high-risk for developing lung cancer.
Learn more about lung cancer screening.
Pap test and human papillomavirus (HPV) tests, which can be used both alone and in combination, can lead to both early detection and prevention of cervical cancer. They prevent the disease because they allow abnormal cells to be found and treated before they become cancer. Testing is generally recommended to begin at age 21 and to end at age 65 in women who have had adequate prior screening and are not otherwise at high risk for cervical cancer.