Cancer screening tests are basically attempts to detect cancer at an early stage to increase the odds of a complete recovery before it is too late. There are generic cancer tests to detect signs of cancer in your body and other specialized cancer tests to detect specific cancer types. The exact type of cancer tests you should take depends on which cancer risk group you belong to.
Which Cancer Risk Group Do You Belong To?
There are 3 types of cancer risk groups:
- Low risk (<15% lifetime risk)
- Medium risk (15% - 20% lifetime risk)
- High risk (> 20% lifetime risk)
The lifetime risk is the probability of you getting a particular type of cancer in your lifetime. When you visit a doctor for cancer screening, you will be classified into one of the groups above according to your gender, age, lifestyle, environment, race and family history of cancer. For example, a man in his fifties who works in a factory, lives in a very polluted city and smokes 10 cigarettes per day may belong to the high risk group. People from different risk groups will have different cancer screening schedules and may start their screening tests at an earlier age or have more frequent tests.
It is important that you look up the cancer screening guidelines of your country to make sure your doctor is planning the right combination of cancer tests. Some tests may not give you all the confirmation you need therefore having the right tests is critical to find any signs of cancer as early as possible. Going through more tests than you need will only result in you spending a lot of unnecessary time and money.
What Are The Different Types Of Cancer Tests?
The tests you will be going through should involve some or all of the following:
- Visual investigation of any lesions on your body, mouth, eyes, genitals, etc.
- Palpation tests to feel for any unusual lumps or tumors in your breasts, prostate, neck and other parts of your body.
- Endoscopy, X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scans, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans or ultrasound scans.
- Lab tests like Biological Terraine Assessment (BTA), blood tests, pap smears, Anti-malignin antibody screen (AMAS) or Cancer Marker Tests.
Be Disciplined - Regrets Don't Work
It is important that you follow your cancer screening test schedules religiously to prevent detecting any case of cancer in your body at a later or terminal stage. Everyone knows that the chances of treating cancer is easier in it's early stages so please do not take the unnecessary risk by being arrogant and lazy about doing your cancer tests. These cancer tests could save you lots of money in the long run and most importantly, they could save your life.
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