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What are the Common Cancer Screening Tests Available?

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cancer screening test
cancer screening test

The main objective of any cancer screening test is early detection of the disease.  If cancer is found early, it can be much easier to treat. Detecting cancer before it can spread can reduce a person’s risk of dying. It is seen that if an individual has more risk factors for cancer, like age and family history, he is more likely to benefit from the cancer screening. 

What kinds of cancer screening tests are available?

The doctor may perform physical exams, imaging procedures, and lab or genetic tests for screening for cancer. Some of the general cancer screening tests are the following-

  • Mammogram – It is an X-ray of the breast taken for the early detection of breast cancer. Frequent mammograms help in reducing the chances of dying from breast cancer. 
  • Pap Test – Doctors will collect cells as well as mucus from a woman’s cervix and its surrounding area. This is sent for testing for any abnormal cells that can turn into cervical cancer. In some cases, doctors will also do an HPV test with a Pap test to screen for the human papillomavirus (HPV). 
  • PSA – A blood test that is only performed on men who are at high risk for prostate cancer and is often done along with a rectal exam.
  • Colonoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy – The cancer screening test is conducted with a thin tube having a camera on the end to look inside the colon. A colonoscopy will examine the whole colon, and a sigmoidoscopy examines only the left side. They will detect any polyps, which can develop into colon cancer. 
  • Fecal Occult Blood Test – It is used to check for blood in the stool, which can indicate any polyps or colon cancer. 
  • CT Scan Low-dose computed tomography or low-dose CT scan – For screening lung cancer.  An X-ray machine is used for scanning the body and providing images of the lungs. 
  • Skin Exam – A doctor will look for suspicious spots or changes in the skin. 

Who Should go for cancer screening tests and when?

  • Breast Cancer – Women between the ages of 40 to 44 can go for yearly mammograms. Regular screening should be done as long as a woman is healthy. Women who are at high risk for the disease can start early screening and may also need a breast MRI.
  • Colon and Rectal Cancer – Men and women should go for colon cancer screening tests from the age of 50 but can start earlier also in case of any risk factors. 
  • Cervical Cancer – Women who are between the ages of 21 and 30 should have a Pap test at least every three years. Those who are above 30 till the age of 65 should have both Pap and HPV test at least every five years or only a Pap test every three years. Women who are at high risk of developing this cancer and are above the age of 65 may be tested frequently or for a long period of time.
  • Prostate Cancer – Starting from 50 years of age, men should consult their doctors about the advantages and disadvantages of prostate cancer screening tests. 
  • Lung Cancer – People will benefit a lot from a CT scan if they are at high risk of lung cancer. High risk will mean that a person is between 55 to 74 years old, there is a history of smoking 20 pack years or even more, and a person is still smoking or has quit in the past few years. 
  • People who have a high risk of developing other kinds of cancers, like skin cancer, liver cancer, or even ovarian cancer, might be offered cancer screening tests for detecting these diseases much earlier.

What are the different health checkup packages in Bangalore?

A health checkup package consists of regular medical tests that are done to determine the status of our health. The price of health checkup packages in Bangalore can start from INR 399 and go up to even INR 20000. It will depend on the diagnostic centre as well as the package that has been selected. Health checkup packages in Bangalore will include a variety of medical diagnostic tests such as Thyroid Profile, Lipid Profile, CBC, Liver Function, Kidney Function, Urine, Iron and Vitamin Profile, Diabetes, Cholesterol, etc. Blood samples can be collected from the comfort of your home. In Bangalore, health checkup packages can be called Master body checkups, complete health checkups or executive full body checkups.  The tests that are included will be different in each of these packages.

Takeaway

Looking for cancer or any abnormal cells that can eventually become cancerous in people who are showing no symptoms is called a cancer screening test. It has been seen that screening tests can detect cancer early and lessen the chance of death from that cancer.

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