Through cancer screening, a person with no symptoms can check if he or she has cancer, or even conditions that may develop into cancer. The simple tests enable doctors to detect certain types of cancer in patients and apply appropriate treatment early, thus increasing the rate of successful treatment.
There are different types of cancer screening tests, ranging from physical inspection to genetic tests:
Physical examination entails inspecting specific areas of the body to look for any abnormalities or signs of disease, such as lumps, swelling and unusual skin colours, as well as reviewing the health history of the patient.
Laboratory tests analyse samples of the patient’s blood, urine, body tissue or other substances to see if the results fall within normal range, and to look for changes in one’s health.
Diagnostic imaging creates visual images of the interior of the body by using X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET/CT scans, and the newest PET/MRI scans etc. for clinical analysis.
Genetic tests examine blood or other body tissues to find gene changes that may raise a person’s likelihood of developing cancer.
The Importance of Cancer Screening
When it comes to cancer, the earlier it is detected the better. If found at an early stage, cancer may be easier to treat with a higher chance of successful treatment. On the contrary, if cancer is found after symptoms appear, it may have spread other body organs (metastasized) and become harder to treat.
This is why cancer screening is so important – it can lead to early detection and timely treatment. Screening can also help to prevent cancer because it can identify health conditions, which, if not treated, may result in cancer.
Have you reached the age of 40? Have any of your family members been previously diagnosed with cancer? Are you suffering a higher risk of developing cancer?
Various authoritative organisations provide guidelines and recommendations on cancer screening tests. One of them is the American Cancer Society:
Check Your Cancer Risk
The Harvard School of Public Health provides an interactive tool to estimate your risk of cancer and provides personalised tips for prevention.
Cancer Screening Services
We offer screening services for the following major types of cancer:
– Breast Cancer
– Colorectal Cancer
– Cervical Cancer
– Liver Cancer
– Lung Cancer
– Prostate Cancer
To find out whether it is time for you to undergo a cancer screening and what screening tests are suitable for you, talk to our healthcare specialist.
Please make an online appointment request or by calling us at 3700 6800 / 3700 6801 / 3700 6802.
Important Points to Note
It is important to note that cancer screening has both benefits and potential risks. These risks may include:
– Bleeding or health problems caused by some screening tests.
– False-positive results that suggest a person has cancer when he/she actually does not, which may lead to anxiety and additional tests.
– False-negative results that suggest a person does not have cancer when he/she actually does, which give false assurance and cause delays in treatment.
– Over-diagnosis that leads to treatment of cancer that is slow-growing and would not have caused harm to the person during his/her lifetime.
You are strongly advised to discuss with your healthcare specialist about the benefits and potential risks of different cancer screening tests.