Thinking about cancer might be frightening, but like with other difficulties in life, the more we know about the disease, the more prepared we will be to face and battle it.
First, it’s vital to understand that many cancers may be avoided by following a healthy diet, being physically active, quitting smoking, and restricting the amount of alcohol consumed. In addition to leading a healthy lifestyle, it is critical to undergo prescribed cancer screening procedures. The good news is that when cancer is detected early, most malignancies are considerably simpler to cure.
If you have a symptom or a screening test result indicating cancer, your doctor must determine whether the symptom or screening test result is related to cancer or another cause. The doctor will likely begin by obtaining information about your personal and family medical history and doing a physical examination.
Additionally, the doctor may prescribe laboratory testing, imaging tests (scans), or other tests or treatments. Additionally, you may require a biopsy, which is frequently the only method to determine for certain whether you have cancer.
Let’s take a deeper look at three of the most prevalent cancers: lung cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Can you identify what the number one cause of lung cancer is? Lung cancer is by far the most common type of cancer and the main cause of cancer mortality overall. That’s accurate. It’s someone who smokes cigarettes.
Approximately 430,000 people in the United States are now living with this cancer. Coughing up blood, hoarseness, and a persistent respiratory infection are all signs of lung cancer, which can occur before the disease has progressed. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit a doctor right once.
To diagnose lung cancer, procedures such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are utilized to confirm the diagnosis. A sample of lung tissue is also examined. Smokers between the ages of 55 and 80 who have smoked one pack a day for 30 years and are still smoking or who have quit smoking less than 15 years ago should have their lungs checked for cancer.
Then there’s breast cancer, which is the most frequent type of cancer in women. In reality, one in every eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives, and a tiny percentage of males will be affected as well. Unfortunately, there are no symptoms most of the time, but the most common one is the discovery of a lump. Swelling, skin irritation and breast discomfort are all possible side effects.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit a doctor right once. Breast cancer is diagnosed using mammograms, ultrasounds, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); a biopsy may also be performed to check for malignancy. According to the American Cancer Society, women between the ages of 45 and 54 should have a mammogram every year to check for early indications of breast cancer.
If you are 40-44 years old, you may decide to begin having yearly mammograms. If you are high risk, screening may be suggested even earlier, at the age of 40. Consult with your provider about the degree of risk you are comfortable with. Mammograms are recommended every 1-2 years for women between the ages of 55 and74. In addition, women above the age of 75 should be tested.
In contrast to breast cancer, colorectal cancer affects men and women almost equally and is the third most prevalent cancer in the United States. It generally begins as a growth or polyp inside the colon or rectum, and it takes several years for the growth or polyp to progress to cancer. In the early stages of cancer, like with many other diseases, there are typically no symptoms.
Rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, a change in bowel habits, and cramps are symptoms that you may have colorectal cancer. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit a doctor right once. Screening tests are associated with a variety of risks, benefits, and suggested frequencies.
Colorectal cancer screening tests may be performed using a stool sample or by direct colon view procedures such as colonoscopy or computed tomography colonography. Colorectal cancer screening should be performed on adults between the ages of 50 and 75. If you are at high risk, you may be advised to get your screening done before the age of 50. Consult with your provider about the degree of risk you are comfortable with.
Some screening may also be advised if you are between the ages of 76 and 85. Using routine screening, polyps can be identified and removed before they have the opportunity to develop into cancer.
There are numerous similarities between the treatments for lung, breast, and colorectal cancer. Their purpose is to remove and eliminate cancer cells, which is what they are good at doing. Surgery, chemotherapy, and other medications, radiation, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy are some of the treatments available.
Which Cancer Tests You Should Get
And you’re probably asking which cancer tests you should get and when you should have them. Your health care team at New Hope can assist you in determining which tests are most appropriate for you, depending on your medical risk and family history. Remember that avoiding cancer begins with lowering your risk by a healthy lifestyle and then getting the required tests to look for cancer before you exhibit any signs so that it can be treated as soon as possible after diagnosis.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer
If the biopsy and other testing reveal that you have cancer, your doctor may order more tests to help them plan your treatment. For example, your doctor will have to determine the extent of your cancer before providing treatment. The type of disease and risk category you belong to are critical factors in determining the optimal course of therapy for various types of cancer. Additionally, your tumor may be examined for other cancer or genetic markers.