Cancer Prevention & Early Detection
Cancer prevention and early detection start with cancer screening. Cancer screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms.
Screening tests can help find cancer at an early stage before symptoms appear. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat or cure. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have grown and spread. This can make cancer harder to treat or cure.
It is important to remember that when your doctor suggests a screening test, it does not always mean he or she thinks you have cancer. Screening tests are done when you have no cancer symptoms.
Lung Cancer Screening
If you're at risk for lung cancer you may be eligible for the only recommended screening test for early detection of lung cancer — low-dose computed tomography (LDCT). The LDCT test involves an X-ray machine that uses low doses of radiation to create detailed images of the lungs. To be screened, a referral from your primary care provider is required. LDCT screening is covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans.
Colon Cancer Screening
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States, yet, with screening, it can be prevented or cured. That’s why Concord Hospital Payson Center for Cancer Care focuses on screening tests – in a doctor’s office, in the Hospital, or in the privacy of your home – to help save lives.
Various screening/testing methods include traditional rectal exams during a doctor’s appointment; home tests in which patients collect a small stool sample and mail it to a testing organization; and colonoscopies, outpatient procedures performed at Concord Hospital Day Surgery Center and Concord Endoscopy Center.
Typically, if the stool sample or rectal exams are abnormal, doctors will recommend a colonoscopy, a procedure in which doctors can detect potentially cancerous polyps, or growths, in the colon or rectum, and remove them, preventing cancer.
Breast Cancer Screening
Mammography is the most common screening test for breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. This test may find tumors that are too small to feel. A mammogram may also find ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). In DCIS, there are abnormal cells in the lining of a breast duct, which may become invasive cancer in some women.
Women aged 40 to 74 years who have screening mammograms have a lower chance of dying from breast cancer than women who do not have screening mammograms.
Skin Cancer Screening
Skin cancer can be cured if found and treated early. Your doctor may check your skin once a year during your annual exam. Or your doctor may suggest a skin exam more often, especially if you have risk factors.
Prostate Cancer Screening
Screening for prostate cancer-checking for signs of the disease when there are no symptoms is done with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.