Cancer screening is very important for everyone as it helps in the early identification of any cancerous cells or cell abnormality.
For instance, a Pap smear test can help identify the early signs of cervical cancer in women. Studies suggest that early cancer diagnosis improves the success rate of treatment.
In that, it is very easy to remove or destroy the cancer cells in the body.
In fact, in the early cancer stage, doctors usually combine radiation therapy and surgery to effectively treat cancer at an early stage.
They may also use chemotherapy to prevent future attacks or cancer coming back (recurrence). However, chemotherapy is rarely used in the early stage of cancer treatments.
So, How Many Time Should A Person Go For Cancer Screening?
Cancer screening routine usually depends on certain factors such as age, medical history, or sex.
However, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the recommended times to go for cancer screening or the best routine for screening is as follows:
UNDER 21 YEARS OLD: The USPSTF does not recommend screening. People under the age of 21 years are not recommended to go for screening unless are obese or have a history of cancer in the family.
FROM 21–29 YEARS OLD: If you are above 21 years to 29 then you can go for your cancer screening at least every 3 years.
Especially, women should undergo screening every 3 years for cervical cancer, breast cancer, and men also for prostate cancer.
FROM 30–65 YEARS OLD: If you are 30 to 60 old, then frequency may depend on the type of screening. For instance, the USPSTF recommends one of the following:
- Screening for cervical cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer after every 3 years, or
- Screening for HPV every 5 years, or
- Screening for both HPV and cervical cancer every 5 years
In short, if you are over 29 to 60 years, it is important to go for regular and frequent screening.
OVER 65 YEARS OLD: The USPSTF does not recommend screening for those who have had adequate screening in the past unless they have a high risk of cervical cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, or any other types of cancer.
Furthermore, women who have had a hysterectomy with removal of the cervix do not need screening, unless they have had precancerous lesions or cervical cancer in the past.
These are the overall screening recommendations, but a doctor can advise each person about their screening needs.
How often should you get a cancer screening?
It is recommended to go for your cancer screening every, especially for mammograms starting at the age 45 and above or age 54 because these individuals are very vulnerable to cancer.
Women, however, are recommended to go as frequently as possible and yearly screening is the best for women as compared to men who can go to cancer screening even after two years.
Getting consistent screening reduces your chances of encountering more severe cancer problems since early detection can lead to an even its cure.
Can you have cancer and feel fine?
No, you can not really feel fine if you have cancer. Actually, cancer is always a painful disease and can lead to other psychological issues, which can make you feel bad about your life.
So if you feel fine, you don’t have cancer, but you can also feel a bit okay if you take better medication.
Note that, innumerable types of cancer cause little to no pain, especially in the early stages.
Moreover, if you seek proper medical attention, then you can also feel at ease at some level.
Can you have cancer for years and not know?
Yes, it is possible to have cancer for several years while not knowing that you have it. That is why it is always advisable to have yearly cancer screening to detect any signs of cancer.
But you can not estimate how long it can take to know if you have cancer without screening.
This is based on the reason that some cancers can be present for months or years before they are detected, but you need to keep checking your health.
Is there a full cancer screening?
Yes, there is a full cancer screening, which is known as a whole-body scanning or imaging test.
This type of screening is where your pictures of your entire body are taken and examined. Though it may be very expensive.
Medical centers usually market them directly to consumers so that they can easily know your health.
According to the medical centers, image testing or scans help find cancer and other diseases early, which may lead to its cure.
Remember, the earlier the better for treating cancer, so you need to have full screening if possible since doctors usually screen for common cancers, in specific body parts and not the whole body in some cases.
When should I start cancer screening?
Everyone can go for cancer screening, including children, teens, young adults, and old adults or elderly individuals.
However, the most vulnerable population are the elderly individuals, thus, they need to start testing cancer at age 45.
But this does not limit you from starting your cancer screening. Remember cancer does not know your age and does not care whether you are a child or adult.
Therefore, talk to your health care provider if you have not started yet.
There are several testing options that you can start from. Talk with a health care provider about which tests are best for you and how often testing should be done for a better life.
Can urine tests detect cancer?
Of course, urinalysis can help detect some bladder cancers early; however, it has not been shown to be useful as a routine screening test for cancer.
During urine cytology, a microscope is utilized to examine any cancerous cells in the urine, although it is not a reliable means to check if someone has cancer.
What are the common warning signs of cancer?
It is very important to know at least some common warnings of cancer. These signs are listed below to help you stay up to date with any unusual signs of cancer.
- If you experience a sore that does not heal.
- In case of change in bowel or bladder habits.
- Some may experience thickening or lumps in the breast or elsewhere.
- You may also encounter indigestion or difficulty in swallowing.
- Obvious change in a wart or mole.
- You may encounter unusual bleeding or discharge.
- Nagging cough or hoarseness.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- You may encounter night sweats.
- Loss of appetite may be a result of cancer signs.
- Recurrent nausea or vomiting.
- You can also experience blood in urine or stool.
But not all these signs are specific for cancer alone, they may overlap from one disease to another including ulcers. So you need to go for screening before you yap that you have cancer.
At what age is cancer most common?
As previously mentioned, elderly individuals are very vulnerable to get cancer. In other words, the specific age range where cancer is very common is 55 to 59 years old and above.
However, the highest rate is 85 to 89 years old for both males and females. Although, women are the most vulnerable population to cancer as compared to men.
It is, therefore, important to have frequent cancer screening.
Which test is best for cancer?
The best test for cancer is Image testing or radiology, specifically computerized tomography CT scans, but you need to comprehend radiation risk from imaging tests. Other scanning, includes X-rays, Nuclear Medicine Scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scan, ultrasound, and other Radiographic Tests.
You need to seek advice from your doctor before starting any cancer testing. Your doctor will recommend to you the best testing based on your budget.
A CT scan is painless and takes about 10 to 30 minutes and can help doctors find cancer and show things like a tumor’s shape and size.
Is there a blood test that can detect cancer?
Yes, there are some blood tests that can be used to detect if you have cancer. For instance, a Complete blood count (CBC) is one of the best blood tests that can detect cancer.
It measures the number of blood cells in your bloodstream, which can help detect any cancerous cells in the blood.
How can you test for cancer at home?
No specific test that you can use to test your cancer status at home. But, individuals can utilize self-checks to help spot any changes or abnormalities as early as possible.
This includes any abnormal swelling on your breast, vagina, penis or any other body parts.
If you notice any abnormal or unusual changes during a self-check, then you should speak with a doctor as soon as possible.
Can you smell cancer?
NO, you cannot smell cancer, although you can smell some symptoms related to cancer such as ulcerating tumors.
This type of tumor is rare, but if you have one, then it is possible that you will have an unpleasant odor.
But you have to know that it is rare to smell cancer or you can not totally smell cancer.
Can cancer ever be cured?
To make it clear, studies show that there are no cures for any kind of cancer, but there are treatments that may cure you.
Many people are treated for cancer, live out the rest of their life, and die of other causes.
Many others are treated for cancer and still die from it, although treatment may give them more time: even years or decades
What are the worst or deadliest cancers to get?
The top five most dangerous cancers are as follows
- Prostate Cancer.
- Pancreatic Cancer.
- Breast Cancer.
- Colorectal Cancer.
- Lung Cancer.
How much does it cost to be tested for cancer?
Many people ask the cost of testing cancer, well, the test can vary from one hospital to another. However, the cost ranges from $300 to over $10,000 depending on the type of hospital and country you seek the test.
The prices of cancer treatments can be as more as $100,000 to billions of money based on the hospital.
Remember, even with health insurance covers genomic testing and treatment, cancer patients may still face large copayments or coinsurance, resulting in high out-of-pocket costs.
Generally, cancer is fatal; however, regular screening could prevent most deaths as cited in studies.
For instance, the stage at which a person receives a cervical cancer diagnosis or any cancer diagnosis can help indicate their chances of survival for at least 5 more years.
A study published in a journal gave the following suggestions on early diagnosis of cervical cancer:
- Stage 1: In early stage 1, the chance of surviving at least 5 years is 93 percent, and in late-stage 1, it is 80 percent.
- Stage 2: In early stage 2, the rate is 63 percent, falling to 58 percent by the end of stage 2.
- Stage 3: During this stage, the chances fall from 35 percent to 32 percent.
- Stage 4: People with stage-4 cervical cancer have a 15 to 16 percent chance of surviving another 5 years.
Note that these are average survival rates and do not apply to everyone. In some cases, treatment is successful up to stage 4.
Therefore, it is crucial to geo for regular cancer screening to reduce health complications. This will also determine your chances of survival.
Please see your doctor if you experience any unusual body changes.