Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, or nearly one in six deaths. In this article, we’ll discuss important reasons why earl cancer detection and diagnosis is the key to a better prognosis. Read on!
The Benefits of Early Cancer Detection
Early Detection Saves Lives
The earlier cancer is detected, the better the chances are of surviving. In fact, the five-year survival rate for cancer that’s caught early is 99 percent, compared to only 14 percent for cancer that’s not caught until it’s spread to other parts of the body.
Early Detection Means Less Invasive Treatment
If cancer is caught early, treatment is often less invasive and less aggressive. This means a shorter hospital stay, less time off work, and less stress for the patient and their family.
Early Detection Can Save Money
Treating cancer in its early stages is often less expensive than treating it in its later stages. In fact, the cost of treating cancer that’s caught early is usually only a fraction of the cost of treating cancer that’s not caught until it’s spread to other parts of the body.
The Role of Cancer Screening in Early Detection
Cancer screening is a method of detecting cancer before it causes symptoms. It can help to find cancers at an early stage, when they are more likely to be treatable.
There are different types of cancer screening, which can be divided into two main categories:
- Primary screening: This involves screening people who do not have any symptoms of cancer. It is usually done using population-based screening programs, such as mammography for breast cancer and colonoscopy for colorectal cancer.
- Secondary screening: This involves screening people who have symptoms that could be caused by cancer. It is usually done using diagnostic tests, such as biopsies.
The most common cancer screening tests include:
- Mammogram: A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It is used to screen for breast cancer.
- Pap test: A Pap test is a test of the cervix. It is used to screen for cervical cancer.
- Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a test of the colon. It is used to screen for colorectal cancer.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: A PSA test is a blood test. It is used to screen for prostate cancer.
- Skin cancer screening: A skin cancer screening is a physical examination of the skin. It is used to screen for skin cancer.
Cancer screening can have benefits and risks. The benefits of cancer screening include early detection of cancer, which can lead to early diagnosis and treatment. This can improve chances of survival. The risks of cancer screening include false-positive results, which can lead to unnecessary anxiety and invasive procedures, such as biopsies.
There is currently no perfect cancer screening test. The best cancer screening test is one that has the most benefits and the least harms. The decision to screen for cancer should be made on an individual basis, taking into account the person’s age, health status, and personal preferences.
What are the Early Warning Signs of Cancer?
There are many different types of cancer, and each type can have different symptoms. Some cancers, such as leukemia, may not cause any symptoms in their early stages. Other cancers, such as breast cancer, may cause symptoms even in their early stages.
The following are some common symptoms of cancer:
- A new lump or mass
- A change in the size, shape, or color of a mole
- A change in the appearance of a wart or mole
- A sore that does not heal
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Persistent indigestion or difficulty swallowing
- Persistent hoarseness or cough
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained fever or night sweats
Not all of these symptoms are caused by cancer. Some of these symptoms, such as a new lump, may be caused by benign (non-cancerous) conditions. However, it is important to see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, as they could be early warning signs of cancer.
The importance of early detection of cancer cannot be overstated. Cancer is a disease that can be effectively treated if caught early, but can be deadly if left undetected. There are many ways to detect cancer early, including screenings, self-exams, and knowing the signs and symptoms of the disease. Early detection is key to saving lives.
If you need physical exam services in Troy, you can visit us at Family Medicine and Wellness. Be it for acute or chronic medical care or just an annual checkup or screening, we have it for you. Contact us and book your schedule with us at Family Medicine and Wellness.