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Types of Cancer Screenings

Why have a cancer screening?

  • Following recommendations for cancer screenings along with eating healthy foods, staying active and quitting smoking are all part of choosing a healthy lifestyle
  • Having a screening can increase chances of finding cancer before symptoms develop.
  • Screenings are the best chance for finding cancer as early as possible when it is the most treatable.

Most common Cancers in our area

  • Lung cancer
  • Colorectal  (colon) cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer

Talk with your health care provider about screenings that are appropriate for you given your personal health history and family history. Call health on demand for more information 607-737-4499.

Types of cancer screenings

Screening for Colon Cancer - Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is used to detect polyps in the colon by viewing the entire colon and rectum. Polyps are small growths that, over time, can become cancer.  A colonoscopy is generally recommended at 50 and then every ten years after. Your provider can recommend when you should get a colonoscopy based on your personal health and family history.

Screening for Breast Cancer  - Mammography
Mammography is the first line of screening for breast cancer and, studies show, the BEST method available for early detection. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that looks for changes in the breast tissue that may be caused by cancer. Learn more about 3D and 2D mammography at Arnot Health.

Screening for Cervical Cancer – Pap (Papanicolaou) Test and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test
Cells are collected from the cervix using the Pap Test procedure, then looked at under a microscope for cancer or pre-cancer as well as tested for human papillomavirus. Pap Tests are recommended for women beginning at 21 years and then every three years following until age 65 or every 5 years if combined with the HPV test. After 65, if no serious pre-cancers have been found in the last 20 years and screenings have been consistently performed for the past 10 years, women should not continue to have the test. Women will not need to continue testing after a hysterectomy that removed the uterus and cervix as long as it was done for reasons not related to cervical cancer

Screening for Prostate Cancer
Screening for prostate cancer can be done in two ways, by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood and through a digital rectal exam (DRE). A  current screening is recommended for men who are 55-69 unless they are at higher risk, in which case screenings should be started earlier. Discuss the risks and benefits of testing for prostate cancer with your provider

Screening for Lung Cancer
Low Dose Computed Tomography (CT) Lung Screening is used for early detection of lung cancer. Discuss your risks with your provider to see if screening is appropriate for you. Generally, if an individual meets all of the following criteria, they are eligible for screening:

  • Current or former smoker (former smokers having quit within the past 15 years), and
  • Aged 55 to 74 years, and
  • A smoking history of at least 30 pack-years , (Pack years = Maximum number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the total number of years smoked.) and
  • No prior history of lung cancer

Who should have a cancer screening?

Review the chart for which screenings are recommended for men and women at what age.
Cancer Screening Guidelines

Screening recommendations are based on the guidelines of the American Cancer Society for Lung, Colon, Cervical and Prostate Cancers www.cancer.org
Mammography recommendations are based on the guidelines of the American College of Radiology www.acr.org

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