Early Cancer Detection Screening

A screening is an examination for cancer or conditions that may become cancer in people who have no symptoms. Screenings can help doctors find and treat several types of cancer early on. Early detection is extremely important because the abnormal tissue or cancer formed may be much easier to treat. When symptoms of the majority of cancers begin to form, it may have begun to spread and is harder to treat.

Cancer Screenings

Several screening tests have been shown to detect cancer early and to reduce the chance of spreading. Tests can be physical exams and family history, laboratory tests, imaging procedures, genetic testing; these tests include,

  • Colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and high-sensitivity fecal blood tests (colorectal cancer)
  • Low-dose helical computed tomography (lung cancer)
  • Mammography and Breast MRI (breast cancer)
  • Pap test and HPV test (cervical cancer)
  • CA-125 test (ovarian cancer)

It is important to keep in mind that screening tests can have potential harms as well as benefits.

  • Some screening tests may cause bleeding or other health problems.
  • Screening tests can have false-positive results—which can cause anxiety and are usually followed by additional tests and procedures that also have potential harms.
  • Screening tests can have false-negative results—which may provide false reassurance, leading to delays in diagnosis, and possibly cause an individual to put off seeking medical care.
  • Overdiagnosis is possible. This happens when a screening correctly shows that a person has cancer but the cancer is slow growing and would not have harmed that person in their lifetime. This is called overtreatment.

Finding the cancer may not improve the person’s health or help the person live longer. There is no way to know if treating the cancer would help the person live longer than if no treatment were given. In both teenagers and adults, there is an increased risk of suicide in the first year after being diagnosed with cancer. Also, treatments for cancer have side effects.

Test Smartly Labs offers DNA tests for an array of health issues, contact your nearest location today.

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