Screening is testing done on people who are at risk of getting cancer, but who have no symptoms and generally feel fine. The cervix is a body part that connects the uterus (womb) to the vagina (genital opening). Cervical cancer is cancer in the cervix.
The goal of cervical screening is to find cell changes in the cervix before they become cancer.
Cervical cancer deaths are more frequent in areas of the world where cervical screening is not available. The dramatic decline since the 1980s in the rate at which women develop and die from cervical cancer is almost entirely due to screening.
A Pap test is a screening test that can detect cell changes in the cervix that may lead to cancer before people feel any symptoms. It is important that these cell changes are found and, if necessary, treated before they can cause cervical cancer.
Cancer screening is testing done on people who are at risk of getting cancer, but who have no symptoms and generally feel fine.
Research shows that almost 7 out of 10 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer have no family history of the disease. This means it is important to get screened for colorectal cancer, even if you do not have a family history of the disease. Research also shows that most people who have been diagnosed with the disease are older than age 50. This is why most people should start screening for colorectal cancer at age 50.
Getting screened helps find colorectal cancer early, when it is more likely to be cured. When colorectal cancer is caught early, 9 out of 10 people with the disease can be cured. If someone does not get screened, they could have colorectal cancer and not know it.
The kind of screening test you get depends on whether you are at average risk of getting colorectal cancer or at increased risk for getting colorectal cancer.
Someone is at average risk if they are 50 to 74 years old with no first-degree relative (parent, sibling or child) who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
If you are at average risk of getting colorectal cancer:
Cancer screening tests — including the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to look for signs of prostate cancer — can be a good idea. Prostate cancer screening can help identify cancer early on, when treatment is most effective.
Detecting certain types of prostate cancer early can be critical. Elevated PSA results may reveal prostate cancer that's likely to spread to other parts of your body (metastasize), or they may reveal a quick-growing cancer that's likely to cause other problems.
Early treatment can help catch the cancer before it becomes life-threatening or causes serious symptoms. In some cases, identifying cancer early means you will need less aggressive treatment — thus reducing your risk of certain side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
Most medical organizations encourage men in their 50s to discuss the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening with their doctors. The discussion should include a review of your risk factors and your preferences about screening.
A head-to-toe Total Body Skin Exam is done with the aid of a dermatoscope. The skin is examined both clinically for any suspicious lesions and dermatoscopically.
The usefulness of the Skin Exam comes with the addition of dermatoscopy. This has been proven to pick up skin cancer earlier and improve specificity (meaning less unnecessary procedures) and sensitivity (meaning earlier detection of skin cancer) compared to a naked eye exam alone.
During the exam, lesions may be identified that need further interventions (e.g. biopsy or cryotherapy) or follow-up on a short-term (1-3 month) or long-term (6 months to 1 year) basis. For record keeping purposes or for comparison in follow-up we would usually photograph these lesions.
Following the exam, we would discuss the findings and go over any questions. Some procedures might be performed the same day (e.g. cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen) but for the most part a follow-up appointment is needed for interventions.