The main goal of any cancer screening test is to find cancer before it is too late. In other words, the test aims to identify any existing cancer and get them treated before it starts to show symptoms.
That being said, there are various types of cancer screening tests aimed at different parts of the body. Here are a few examples of the types of cancer screening and what they aim to do:
1. Breast Cancer Screening Tests
These tests are typically performed through a mammogram. A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray that helps a doctor detect breast cancer. The test is recommended for women who are over the age of 40 years.
2. Prostate Cancer Screening Tests
Prostate cancer screening tests are performed through a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. This test helps to detect any cancerous cells in the prostate. The test is recommended for men who are at average risk of getting prostate cancer.
3. Cervical Cancer Screening Tests
The most common cancer screening tests are performed through a Pap test. The Pap test is designed to screen for abnormal cells in the cervix. An HPV (human papillomavirus) test is also generally used for cervical cancer screening tests and can either be used by itself or combined with the Pap test. The test is recommended for women who are between the ages of 21 to 65 years.
4. Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests
A Colorectal cancer screening test is performed through a fecal occult blood test. This test is recommended for men and women who are between the ages of 50 to 65 years.
5. Lung Cancer Screening Tests
Lung cancer screening tests are typically performed through a low-dose computerized tomography (LDCT). This test helps to detect any cancerous cells in the lungs. It is recommended for current and former smokers who are between the ages of 55 to 75 years.
6. Skin Cancer Screening Tests
Skin cancer screening tests are performed through a basal cell carcinoma (BCC) test. This test is performed on a small area of the skin. Current and former smokers who are at average risk of getting skin cancer can get this test.
7. Thyroid Cancer Screening Tests
Thyroid cancer screening tests are performed through a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test. This test is recommended for women who are between the ages of 35 to 55 years.
8. Liver Cancer Screening Tests
Liver cancer screening tests are performed through an ultrasound test. An alpha-fetoprotein blood test can also be used along with the ultrasound to detect any cancer in the liver early. This test is recommended for women who are between the ages of 50 to 80 years.
Cancer screening tests are becoming increasingly prevalent in modern healthcare. It’s important to note that the tests aren’t perfect. While many help to identify cancer early and potentially save lives, there are also false positives. This means that the tests show that a person has cancer, but in reality, they don’t.
In the end, it’s up to the patient to decide whether or not to get the test, based on the doctor’s advice and the risks involved. A patient can also ask for a second opinion from another doctor to determine whether or not to take the test. In addition to the tests themselves, a patient can also look into alternative treatment options meant to combat cancer to enjoy a more comprehensive treatment solution to fight cancer.
UNITY Medical Clinic is a family-oriented medical practice offering pediatrics, adult medicine, and more. If you are looking for cancer screening in Santa Fe, contact us today!