Cancer Screening For Women

Cancer Screening For Women

Screening for cancers is important since it could save a life if detected pre-emptively. Women in particular are susceptible to certain cancers and should take particular care in screening for them.

Screening tests look for cancer before the person has any signs or symptoms of the disease. With regular screenings you can catch some cancers early, when they aren’t that dangerous and haven’t spread. Such cancers are easier to treat.

Cancers of the breast, lung and skin are particularly important for women and proper screening can be a life saver.

  1. Breast Cancer

    Women aged 40 and older should get screening (known as mammograms) each year and continue to do so till they are in good health.

    Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam done as part of a regular check-up every 3 years or so.

    Some women may want to start screening earlier depending on their family and medical history.

    Breast self-examination is also an option for women starting in their 20s. Talk to a doctor or nurse about how to go about it and the related benefits and limitations of breast self-examination.

  2. Lung Cancer

    Women aged 55 to 74 who are or were heavy smokers should talk to a doctor about whether a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer is suitable for them.

    People who have never smoked or who quit long ago can and do get lung cancer. However, the risks of screening usually outweigh the benefits for this group.

    Screening is not a licence to continue using tobacco. Tobacco users are at very high risk of death by lung cancer and the screening process can only help in detecting cancer not in preventing it.

  3. Skin Cancer

    If you find a worrisome change on your skin (moles, spots), you should report it promptly to your doctor. The abnormality is usually analysed through a biopsy. The doctor will remove as much of the problem tissue as possible with a local excision. A pathologist then examines the tissue to check for cancer cells. @You can take another pathologist’s opinion for greater certainty.

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