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 the 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.
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.