Taking part in prevention methods is one of the most important ways to fight cancer today. Experts are now emphasizing the act of getting screened to prevent cancer.

CBS news reports on cancer prevention tactics and smart screening. Experts are saying with hundreds of thousands of Americans dying of cancer every year, it is extremely important to be more careful about cancer screening.

Statistics show that around 600,000 people in the U.S. will die of cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society.

“One way to reduce cancer-related deaths is by implementing better cancer screening for early detection. Yet controversy and confusion remains over exactly who should be screened for different cancers, at what ages, and how often,” according to CBS news.

Expert groups such as The American College of Physicians (ACP) gave a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine offering advice to physicians on when average-risk patients should be screened for five common cancers: breast, cervical, colorectal, ovarian, and prostate cancer.

Dr. Wayne J. Riley, president of ACP, issued a statement about the importance of screening.

He said, “ACP wants smarter screening by informing people about the benefits and harms of screening and encouraging them to get screened at the right time, at the right interval, with the right test.”

He also said how numerous people have a lack of understanding about the trade-offs of screening. Many studies have shown again and again that patients and many doctors overestimate the advantages and are unaware of and/or downplay the potential harms of cancer screening.

The team actually analyzed and reviewed clinical guidelines issued by many organizations, including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Cancer Society, among others, with the objective of creating comprehensive advice on how to maximize the benefits of cancer screening while decreasing superfluous testing.

CBS reports, “The study authors recommend that doctors begin discussing the benefits and harms of breast cancer screening for women at age 40, and order a mammogram every two years if a woman requests it. By age 50, doctors should encourage their female patients to have a mammogram every two years until the age of 75.”

Experts are saying that doctors should be more aware of having people under 40 who are average risk patients get screened. They say this elicits too many false positives. The median age for breast cancer in the US is mid 60s. The study also warns against screening with MRIs.

Getting screened using a pap smear is recommended every three years for women between the ages of 21 to 29.

“From age 30 to 65, women should be offered the choice of either continuing pap smears every three years or getting both a pap smear plus human papillomavirus (HPV) test once every five years,” according to CBS news.

ACP does not recommend screening average risk women for ovarian cancer and many tests such as blood tests have been unhelpful in detecting ovarian cancer.

People should be screened for colorectal cancer from the ages of 50 to 75 according to experts. They can be screened through: yearly stool tests, sigmoidoscopy every five years, a combination of the two, or a colonoscopy every 10 years.


Gerry Oginski
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