The C Word: Preventing Cancer By Attending Screenings

Cancer statistics can be really quite scary. Research now suggests that one in two of us will get cancer at some point in our lives, which is an incredibly worrying thought. However most of this is due to the fact that most of us are living longer lives in the modern world, and with cancer treatments getting better year on year- it's something that many sufferers will go on to beat. We're more prone to certain cancers due to our age, lifestyle, gender and other factors, and so good healthcare systems now screen anyone considered to be at risk. This is the process of checking healthy people to potentially catch changes very early on. These changes are at a treatable stage, since often by the time symptoms arrive cancer has usually spread.

Any hospice worker will tell you how devastating cancer can be, and it's not always older people who are diagnosed. Here are some of the screenings you could be invited for, and should attend if you are.

Cervical Cancer Screening
Only a very small number of women die each year from cervical cancer due to excellent screening processes. If abnormal cells are found then a test for HPV will be done, as this accounts for 100% of all cervical cancer cases. Abnormal cells may be monitored with continued tests, or a procedure to remove the cells may be recommended.

Breast Cancer Screening
Shockingly, about one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. However, during the early stages, it's very treatable. All women who are aged between fifty and seventy are invited for breast cancer screening every three years or if you’re at high risk you could have screening earlier. This could be due to having a close family member who has also had the disease.

Prostate Cancer Screening
This is one of the most common cancers among men and is usually found in older men. Although there is no official prostate screening program, a blood test does exist that tests to see if certain antigen levels are raised- as this can indicate cancer. Most prostate cancers can not be identified on the evaluations of ultrasound alone, however, modern technology is making this easier to detect and treat.

Bowel Cancer Screening
Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in people of both genders.  A test called Faecal Occult Blood Testing, which is also known as FOBT or FOB can be used- you can do it at home which is good as it means people are far more likely to do the test. Bowel scope screening can also be done as a way to detect early stages. If it's caught at stage one, almost everyone survives bowel cancer. However, this drops to just 5% at stage four, which really highlights the massive importance of screening and how it can save lives.

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