From diagnosis to treatment, patients have to undergo a series of medical imaging and interventional services to allow doctors carefully tailor the most suitable treatment plan. Conventional screening methods include non-invasive medical imaging, blood tests, endoscopy, etc. Doctors may also recommend patients to take genetic tests to determine whether they are suitable for immunotherapy or targeted therapy.
For high-risk individuals who do not show any signs of cancer but have a family history of cancer, the following screening methods can be considered to rule out or predict the risk of developing cancer. Our centre provides a broad spectrum of cancer screenings and advanced medical imaging services. We hope to ensure that every patient can prevent and control the disease effectively and receive timely treatment through early detection.
The following are common cancer screening methods:
X-ray can present the specific outline of the organs in the body clearly.
Ultrasound can observe the immediate changes in organs. However, the penetration of bones and other tissues is lower, as well as the image resolution.
CT is capable of scanning the entire body by producing hundreds of cross-sectional images to form two-dimensional and three-dimensional images.
PET-CT uses 3D colour images to improve the accuracy of anatomical images and data by computer scanning.
Medical Imaging includes Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography (PET-CT), Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), 3D Mammography/Tomosynthesis, etc. Through diagnostic imaging, doctors can identify and determine the stage and extent of cancer in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Tests are often repeated regularly throughout treatment to effectively monitor the cancer’s response to the treatment.
Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography (PET-CT)
Computed Tomography (CT)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Blood tests are commonly conducted during chemotherapy to monitor how well the cancer patients are responding to the treatment and its side effects. Common blood tests such as complete blood count (CBC) can measure the amount of various types of blood cells in the sample, including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelet etc. Certain blood tests can also give doctors and idea of how well your organs are functioning. For example, liver function tests allow your doctors to know the condition of your liver before starting your treatment. If your liver is not working well, certain targeted therapy or chemotherapy may also not be good choices for your treatment.
In the past, doctors can only take a small sample from patients’ tumor and check it in a lab to see if there is certain gene mutation for targets that treatment can focus on. However, a new form of biopsy arises in recent years where gene mutations can be detected by checking the cell-free DNA in patients’ blood. Not only is the process faster and less costly, but it also avoids the inconvenience and pain caused to cancer patients by biopsy, especially for elderly patients who are weaker or unsuitable for surgery. However, the sensitivity of liquid biopsy is still limited; it is tended to be a supplementary tool to assist the traditional form of biopsy.
Samples taken from liquid biopsy or traditional biopsy can then go through Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), where genomes are sequenced at high speed and at low cost. With this new technology, healthcare professionals can efficiently sort out suitable targeted drugs and prescribe relevant medication to enhance treatment effectiveness for patients.
Also, high-risk individuals with a family history of cancer, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, or family members with BRCA mutation genes, may consider taking a genetic test as a cancer screening upon doctor’s advice.
Other preventive screenings include Cervical Screening, also known as Pap Smear, Breast and Pelvic Exam, Pelvic Ultrasound, Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBT), Regular Hepatitis B (HBV) tests, etc.
- Women aged 25 to 64 who have had sexual encounters
If the cell test results are normal for two consecutive years, you can do the check-up regularly every three years.
- Women aged 65 years or above
Screening may be discontinued if the results of three consecutive tests in the past 10 years are normal; if you have never taken a Cervical Screening before, you should be examined.
- Women aged 21 to 24 with previous sexual encounters
If you have risk factors for cervical cancer, such as having multiple sexual partners, smoking, etc., you should be assessed by medical professionals to determine whether you should be screened.
- Persons aged 50 to 75
You should consider taking the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) every 1 or 2 years. You should also consider receiving Sigmoidoscopy every five years or undergo a Colonoscopy every 10 years.
- For people with a family history of Colorectal Cancer,
Colonoscopy can be a screening method. It is recommended that you should consult your doctor for professional opinions.
- Women aged 20 to 40
You should consult your doctor every other year and be examined according to the situation.
- Women who are 40 years old or above or those whose close relatives have had breast cancer.
A doctor should be consulted every year. A 3D mammogram should be received upon a doctor’s opinion.
- Men with immediate family diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65 are suggested to take a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test every two years. This should start at the age of 45 until 70.
- High-risk persons such as individuals with Hepatitis B or C virus or patients with cirrhosis should consult doctors about the need for Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) test and ultrasound check-up every 6 to 12 months.
A cancer screening program may also be considered upon doctor’s advice. Take early lung cancer as an example, the survival rate of patients can be as high as 90%. If it is detected in the fourth phase, the survival rate drops below 10%, which highlights the significance of regular physical check-up.
A healthy lifestyle and diet, along with the right amount of exercise can greatly reduce the risk of cancer. Some early-stage cancers and precancerous lesions can be screened and treated as early as possible to erase the underlying concerns. Take breast cancer, one of the deadliest among women’s cancer, as an example, women can perform a self check-up to help prevent it. For instance, women can observe whether there is the presence of a breast lump, the shape or size has changed, the appearance of pits in the skin or venous dilatation or other abnormalities. Look for medical attention early if you are in doubt.
Our centre provides multiple medical screening services. Feel free to fill in the following “Contact Us” form. We will contact you via email, telephone or WeChat and send you the confirmation, along with the important information prior to your medical screening.