Cancer Screenings

Cancer Screening can help doctors find and treat several types of cancer early. The sooner a cancer is found and treatment begins, the better the chances are that the treatment will be successful.

Some recommended tests include:

Physical exam and history
An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of your health habits and past illnesses and treatments will be taken into consideration.

Colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and high-sensitivity fecal occult blood tests
These tests have all been shown to reduce deaths from colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy also help prevent colorectal cancer because they can detect abnormal colon growths (polyps) that can be removed before they develop into cancer.

Low-dose helical computed tomography
This test to screen for lung cancer has been shown to reduce lung cancer deaths among heavy smokers ages 55 to 74.

This method to screen for breast cancer has been shown to reduce mortality from the disease among women ages 40 to 74, especially those age 50 or older.

Some screenings tests may have serious risks and can have long lasting effects.  It’s important that you speak with your doctor to see which test may be right for you.  For complete information about screening tests by cancer type, including tests that are being developed and tests that were used in the past, visit the National Cancer Institute.