What is Cancer Screening?
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What is Cancer Screening?

What is Cancer Screening?

Dr. Navneet Sharda – Cancer often has no specific symptoms, so it is important that people limit their risk factors and undergo appropriate cancer screening. The cancer screening is regular use of certain examinations or tests in people who do not have any symptoms, but are at high risk for developing certain types of cancer. For cancer screening, progress in this area has offered promise for earlier detection, which often results in higher cure rates.

As per Cancer Specialist Dr. Navneet Sharda of Cancer Care and Treatment Centers “Continued work and Advanced studies  about screening may allow for earlier detection and higher cure rates”. As per study, each year in the US, there are an estimated 1.6 million new cases of cancer and 600,000 deaths due to the disease. Widespread use of a screening test called the Pap smear has led to a decline in the number of deaths resulting from cervical cancer.

Why do I need Cancer Screening?

According to oncologist  Dr. Navneet Sharda, “Everyone may not be required to undergo regular screening for cancer. There are many factors that determine who should be screened. Over the past years, researchers and scientists have established risk factors for certain types of cancer. Risk factors are certain characteristics or exposures that make people more likely to develop a type of cancer than other people who do not have those risk factors. “

There are two types of risk factors: genetic factors and non-genetic (environmental) factors. For a person getting cancer depends on both genetic and non-genetic factors. Inheritance is the biggest contributor for  genetic factor, while a non-genetic factor depends on person’s surrounding and person´s environment, which can often be changed. A genetic predisposition means that a person may be at higher risk for a certain cancer if a family member has that type of cancer. Non-genetic factors also depends on various factors like diet, exercise, or exposure to other substances present in our surroundings.

There are many different types of screening tests available to detect different types of cancer. Depending on the risk factors that are present, patients at a high risk for a certain type of cancer may be required to undergo any one of a number of tests.

Examples of screening tests include imaging tests, such as CT scans or mammography; blood tests; or even surgical biopsy procedures. Some screening tests are non-invasive, such as diagnostic imaging, while other screening tests are more invasive, such as blood tests or colonoscopy.

Screening tests are designed specifically to screen for certain types of cancer. For example, women at a high risk of developing breast cancer may need to undergo frequent mammograms, whereas individuals at a high risk for colon cancer will need to undergo colonoscopy.

Another type of screening test is predictive genetic testing. Modern technology has enabled us to identify relationships between specific genetic mutations and some cancers. As we continue to learn more about genetic mutations and identify additional mutations, the role of genetic testing will continue to grow.

Genetic Testing: This testing may help identify people who are at an increased risk for developing certain types of cancer. While predictive genetic testing may provide information and benefits for some people, it also carries many limitations and risks. People considering undergoing genetic testing need to fully understand the process and its implications.

Breast Cancer Screening: Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States. Progress in the areas of screening and treatment may allow for earlier detection and higher cure rates.

Cervical Cancer Screening: Cervical cancer is generally preceded by precancerous changes to the cervix. Detection and treatment of these precancerous changes can prevent the development of cancer.

Colon Cancer Screening:Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The disease strikes both men and women, with more than 140,000 cases diagnosed each year. Approximately 50,000 people die from colorectal cancer each year. According to recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), routine colorectal cancer screening should continue until the age of 75. Patient may need to talk to their doctors about following test.

Fecal Occult-Blood Test (FOBT), Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), Colonoscopy, Double-contrast barium enema, Predictive genetic testing

Lung Cancer Screening: Two-thirds of cancer deaths in the U.S. can be linked to tobacco use, poor diet, obesity, and lack of exercise. All of these factors can be modified. Nevertheless, an awareness of the opportunity to prevent cancer through changes in lifestyle is still under-appreciated.

Chest X-rays:Chest x-rays have been used as a preliminary method to detect lung cancer. Computed Topography or CT Scan: A CT scan is a technique for imaging body tissues and organs, during which X-ray transmissions are converted to detailed images, using a computer to synthesize X-ray data.

Sputum Cytology:Sputum cytology is a procedure used to examine mucus that is coughed up from the lungs or breathing tubes.

Melanoma Screening: Approximately 10% of individuals diagnosed with melanoma have a family history of the disease.  The vast majority of these patients have only one or more affected close relatives, which translates to only a small increase in the risk of developing a melanoma. Research is ongoing to further define the role of CDKN2A in the development of melanoma.

Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP): Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a rare, inherited skin disorder characterized by extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet light. Individuals with XP have a genetic defect that prevents the repair of sun-induced damage to DNA.

Ovarian Cancer Screening: An estimated 5-10% of ovarian cancers are due to inherited gene mutations. Women with mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, for example, have a high risk of both breast and ovarian cancer. A factor that may increase the risk of ovarian cancer is use of postmenopausal hormones. Consult your Doctor for screening for Ovarian Cancer.

Prostate Cancer Screening: Researchers have estimated that approximately 9% of prostate cancers may be the result of heritable susceptibility genes. Although the causes of prostate cancer remain ambiguous, researchers have identified several risk factors that are associated with prostate cancer. Age, Race and Diet are the main factor.

Screening may also involve a digital-rectal exam and/or a transrectal ultrasound.

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