How to Detect Cancer Early

Physical examination, routine checkups, self-exams and screening tests are methods used to detect cancer early. You should submit yourself to one or more of these tests whether or not you are experiencing symptoms. This is because some cancer types, such as prostate cancer, do not possess warning signs until the disease has already progressed. Going through these processes is not meant to let you live in fear but this is to make sure that you are in your excellent health. Or, you will be able to receive treatment even before the cancer has spread.

Self-Exams
Examine yourself for changes in your skin. Check the inside of your mouth by looking in front of the mirror. Do you notice something with the color of your gums, tongue and others? Do you see white patches, swelling and bleeding? Check the breast. Are there lumps, redness, discharge (other than milk) and other things? Touch the prostate. Is it painful or swelling? Does it feel heavy? These are the things that you should look for or you should watch out. If you encounter one or more in any part of your body, visit your doctor immediately.

Physical Inspection
Submit yourself to regular physical examination. Doctors know which areas to look at for possible health condition. He will ask you to open your mouth and bring out your tongue. He may touch some portions of your body for possible swelling or lumps.

Routine Checkups
You should undergo routine checkups to ensure that you are in good health and to determine your risks to various health issues like cancer. You should make an extra effort to go through these if you have family history of chronic diseases and specifically, cancer. Health screening checks include tests on weight, blood pressure, high cholesterol level, blood sugar level, eye, rectum, stool and others.

Screening Tests
Screening tests depend on which type of cancer you will want to have yourself checked for or you are most at risk of. For breast cancer, mammography is the appropriate screening test. For prostate cancer, prostate-specific antigen or PSA test is the one being conducted.

Mammography – Even if a woman looks healthy, she should undergo mammography to test for possible breast cancer. This is especially if she has family history of this illness. Mammography makes use of x-rays to produce various images (called mammograms) of the breast. These mammograms are examined to check for early indications of breast cancer. Mammography is considered the most effective screening tool for this health condition.

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test – This specific test helps in discovering prostate cancer early. A man’s possibility of having this disease increases as the PSA level goes up (the normal level is below 4 ng/mL of blood). PSA level from 4 to 10 gives a man almost 1 in 4 chance of getting prostate cancer. However, the risk increases to over 50 percent as the PSA increases to more than 10.

Early detection of cancer saves lives or improves patients’ chances for survival. Before the tumor can spread in the body of the affected individuals, treatments necessary to prevent it have been successfully made by the healthcare professionals.

Sources:

http://www.medicinenet.com/
http://ww5.komen.org/
http://www.cancer.org/

 

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