Screening

Screening can help doctors detect and treat several types of cancer early, before they cause symptoms. Early detection of cancer can make treatment considerably easier, thereby improving prognosis and chances of survival.

Screening tests can be done even without the onset of any symptoms. The goal isn’t just to treat cancer but to stop it before it starts, and spot it before it spreads.

Are you worried about getting cancer?

People worry about cancer for many different reasons. Perhaps someone you know has recently been diagnosed. Maybe you have lost a family member to cancer. Or perhaps you are experiencing some symptoms and are unsure what the cause might be. If you are worried about getting cancer, you should be aware of certain things (risk factors) that can increase your chances of getting cancer.

In this section, you can find out more about common risk factors and learn about possible changes you can make to your lifestyle to reduce your risk. Read more

If you have a family history of cancer or a genetic predisposition, it is important for you to be aware of genetic testing. Click here

Recommended screening protocols

It is good practice for everyone to go for annual health check-ups, even if they don’t have any known risk factors for cancer. A thorough check-up and consultation with your doctor can help you understand your unique risks and lower your odds of getting cancer.

Here you can find the recommended screening protocol for your age group.

ALL AGES: Regardless of your age, the choices you make about your lifestyle can affect your overall health, as well as your risk for developing cancer. In this section, you can learn about possible changes you can make to your lifestyle to reduce your risk. Read more

Ages

21-29

If you are between 21 and 29 years of age, the following screening tests are recommended for your age and gender.

Please note: This protocol is recommended for those individuals who do not have any known risk factors for cancer. If you have a higher than average risk of developing any type of cancer (family history, genetic predisposition or any other risk factor), talk to your doctor about when you need to start testing, and which tests are right for you.

For women

Breast cancer: All women should routinely perform breast self-exams. Be aware of what your breasts normally look and feel like to ensure you can report any changes, in case they occur. Mammograms are not required at this age. For more information on how to perform breast self-exams, click here. Link to Breast Cancer Screening click here.

Cervical cancer: From the age of 21 onwards, women should undergo a Pap smear test once every 3 years. An HPV test should be explored if the Pap test shows any abnormalities. For more information on the Pap smear test and what to expect, click here. Link to Cervical Cancer Screening click here.

Colorectal cancer: Testing for colorectal cancers is not required at this age.

For men

Colorectal cancer: Testing for colorectal cancers is not required at this age.

Prostate cancer: Testing for prostate cancers is not required at this age.

30-39

If you are between 30 and 39 years of age, the following screening tests are recommended for your age and gender.

Please note: This protocol is recommended for those individuals who do not have any known risk factors for cancer. If you have a higher than average risk of developing any type of cancer (family history, genetic predisposition or any other risk factor), talk to your doctor about when you need to start testing, and which tests are right for you.

For women

Breast cancer: All women in this age group should routinely perform breast self-exams. Be aware of what your breasts normally look and feel like to ensure you can report any changes, in case they occur. Mammograms are not required at this age. For more information on how to perform breast self-exams, click here.

Cervical cancer: It is advisable to undergo a Pap smear test once every 3 years. An HPV test should be explored if the Pap test shows any abnormalities. For more information on the Pap smear test and what to expect, click here.

Colorectal cancer: Testing for colorectal cancers is not required at this age.

For men

Colorectal cancer: Testing for colorectal cancers is not required at this age.

Prostate cancer: Testing for prostate cancers is not required at this age.

40-49

If you are between 40 and 49 years of age, the following screening tests are recommended for your age and gender.

Please note: This protocol is recommended for those individuals who do not have any known risk factors for cancer. If you have a higher than average risk of developing any type of cancer (family history, genetic predisposition or any other risk factor), talk to your doctor about when you need to start testing, and which tests are right for you.

For women

Breast cancer: If you are between the ages of 40 and 44, consult your doctor and discuss if you need to start regular screening using mammograms. After the age of 45, it is advisable to schedule a mammogram every year. For more information on mammograms and what to expect, click here.

Cervical cancer: It is advisable to undergo a Pap smear test once every 3 years. You can schedule an HPV test once in 5 years, or if the Pap test shows any abnormalities. For more information on the Pap smear test and what to expect, click here.

Colorectal cancer: If you are between the ages of 40 and 44, consult your doctor and discuss if you need to start regular screening using stool-based tests or a colonoscopy. After the age of 45, it is advisable to schedule routine screening tests every year. For more information on routine screening tests and what to expect, click here.

For men

Colorectal cancer: If you are between the ages of 40 and 44, consult your doctor and discuss if you need to start regular screening using stool-based tests or a colonoscopy. After the age of 45, it is advisable undergo screening tests every year. For more information on routine screening tests and what to expect, click here.

Prostate cancer: Men above the age of 45 with a higher than average risk of prostate cancer should talk with their doctor about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of testing. This will help you decide if you want to be tested.

50-64

If you are between 50 and 64 years of age, the following screening tests are recommended for your age and gender.

For women

Breast cancer: Women in this age group should schedule a mammogram every year. For more information on mammograms and what to expect, click here.

Cervical cancer: It is advisable to undergo a Pap smear test once every 3 years. You can schedule an HPV test once in 5 years, or if the Pap test shows any abnormalities. For more information on the Pap smear test and what to expect, click here.

Colorectal cancer: It is advisable for women in this age group to start regular screening using stool-based tests or a colonoscopy. For more information on routine screening tests and what to expect, click here.

Lung cancer: Women above the age of 55 with a history of smoking should talk with their doctor about the risks and potential benefits of testing. You can then decide if you’d like to begin having yearly low-dose CT scans to screen for early lung cancer.

For men

Colorectal cancer: It is advisable for men in this age group to start regular screening using stool-based tests or a colonoscopy. For more information on routine screening tests and what to expect, click here.

Lung cancer: Men above the age of 55 with a history of smoking should talk with their doctor about the risks and potential benefits of testing. You can then decide if you’d like to begin having yearly low-dose CT scans to screen for early lung cancer.

Prostate cancer: Men in this age group with a higher than average risk of prostate cancer should talk with their doctor about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of testing. This will help you decide if you want to be tested.

65+

If you are 65 years of age or older, the following screening tests are recommended for your age and gender.

For women

Breast cancer: Women who are 65 years of age or older should schedule a mammogram once every two years. For more information on mammograms and what to expect, click here.

Cervical cancer: No testing is needed if you’ve had regular cervical cancer testing with normal results during the previous 10 years.

Colorectal cancer: Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended until 75 years of age. People between the ages of 76 and 85 should consult their doctor about whether continuing screening is right for them. Most people older than 85 should no longer be screened.

Lung cancer: Women in this age group with a history of smoking should talk with their doctor about the risks and potential benefits of testing. You can then decide if you’d like to begin having yearly low-dose CT scans to screen for early lung cancer.

For men

Colorectal cancer: Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended until 75 years of age. People between the ages of 76 and 85 should consult their doctor about whether continuing screening is right for them. Most people older than 85 should no longer be screened.

Prostate cancer: One should take into account overall health along with age while considering a plan of action for screening. Men in this age group should talk with their doctor about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of continuous testing.

Lung cancer: Men in this age group with a history of smoking should talk with their doctor about the risks and potential benefits of testing. You can then decide if you’d like to begin having yearly low-dose CT scans to screen for early lung cancer.

GENETIC TESTING

While inherited gene mutations are thought to be strongly linked to about 5 to 10% of all cancers, mutations in general do play an important role in the development of cancer.

Genetic testing involves medical tests to assess the genetic structure of a person and determine the presence of mutations, if any. The presence of mutations can have an impact on an individual’s risk of developing cancer.

Such tests, called Predictive genetic testing are suggested for:

  • People with a strong family history of certain types of cancer, to see if they carry a gene mutation that increases their risk
  • People already diagnosed with cancer, especially if there are other factors to suggest cancer might have been caused by an inherited mutation (such as a strong family history or if the cancer was diagnosed at a young age) to help fine tune the treatment or help identify risk of other cancers
  • Family members of a person known to have an inherited gene mutation that increases risk of developing cancer
screening

Breast cancer

Cervical cancer

Other
Gynaecological
Cancers

GI cancer

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