The facts on screening and prevention
While the cause of most types of cancer is still unknown, leading a healthy, active lifestyle and receiving the recommended screenings can reduce the chances that cancer will have a significant impact on your life.
American Cancer Society (ACS) prevention programs focus on preventing the use of tobacco products; highlighting the relationship between diet, physical activity and cancer; and reducing the risk of skin cancer.
Eating well, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight are good ways to reduce the likelihood of cancer. By caring about your body and what you put into it, you can help ensure the good standing of your health.
According to the ACS, early detection of cancer in asymptomatic people can increase the likelihood of survival. The most common tests for early detection include the breasts, colon and rectum, prostate and the uterus. To view a full webcast of a colonoscopy screening, click here.
- Breast - Yearly mammograms are recommended for women starting at the age of forty. But women at a higher risk, with a family history of cancer, should think about getting mammograms earlier. Before women turn forty, they need to receive a clinical breast exam about every three years. After forty, a clinical breast exam is needed yearly. Contact your physician for a referral for these tests. To schedule a mammogram, call the Breast Center at 913-676-2220.
- Colon & Rectum - Beginning at the age of fifty both men and women should begin testing for colon and rectum cancer. Contact your doctor to schedule a fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test every year, a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, a double-contrast barium enema every five years or a colonoscopy every 10 years. Of the tests mentioned, only one is necessary. To view a full webcast of a colonoscopy screening, click here.
- Prostate - Beginning at the age of 50, a PSA test and the digital rectal exam should be offered annually. Men with a higher risk of prostate cancer, African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer, should start getting these tests at the age of 45. Your physician can perform these tests in his or her office.
- Uterus - Cervix screening should start about three years after the start of intercourse or at the age of 21. Screening is done annually with a pap test. After the age of 30, women with consecutively normal paps can get screened every two to three years. Women over the age of 70 who have had 10 years of normal pap tests may choose to stop testing for cervical cancer.
For more information on cancer screening and prevention talk to your doctor.