There are more than 600,000 Americans who will die from cancer in 2018. There are also nearly 2 million people diagnosed with it every year.
If your family doesn’t have a history of cancer, you might not think you’re susceptible to falling into either of these categories. But the truth is that anyone can fall victim to cancer. And unfortunately, anyone can die from it, too, if it’s not detected early enough.
The easiest way to catch cancer early is by having regular cancer screenings done. There are a few cancer screenings, in particular, that you should especially mindful of when you visit the doctor.
Here are several potentially life-saving cancer screenings that you shouldn’t skip out on under any circumstances.
Studies have shown that one out of every eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. It’s why cancer screenings for breast cancer are absolutely essential.
The American Cancer Society recommends women have mammograms done at least once every year to screen for breast cancer once they hit the age of 45. The federal government also recommends that women have breast cancer screenings done at least once every other year between the ages of 50 and 74.
If you have family members who have had breast cancer in the past or if your doctor tells you that you’re at a higher risk of having it yourself, consider getting screened as often as you can.
One other thing women can do to catch breast cancer early is to examine their own breasts in between screenings. If you ever notice any suspicious lumps, it’s a good idea to schedule a doctor visit right away.
Every year, there are almost 100,000 Americans diagnosed with colon cancer. Additionally, there are more than 40,000 people diagnosed with rectal cancer.
That makes colorectal cancer one of the most common types of cancer around.
According to the American Cancer Society, people should have their first colonoscopy to check for signs of colorectal cancer when they turn 50. They should then continue having them every 5 to 10 years after their initial exam until they turn 75.
If your family has a history of colorectal cancer, you should consider having colorectal cancer screenings before you turn 50 and continue having them after you’re 75. You should also speak with your doctor about some of the colonoscopy alternatives that are now available.
About 160,000 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. It’s actually the second-leading cause of cancer death among men, behind only lung cancer.
Despite this, the federal government no longer believes that all men need to have regular prostate cancer screenings done. But don’t let that stop you from having them done regularly anyway if you and your doctor decide it’s the best course of action.
Those at an increased risk for prostate cancer should start having screenings done once they turn 40. Those with lower risk should wait until they turn either 45 or 50 to start screenings for prostate cancer.
Up until about 40 years ago, cervical cancer was the leading cause of cancer death among women. But that all changed once doctors started to encourage women to get tested for cervical cancer more often.
Today, it’s recommended for women to have cervical cancer screenings once every year from the time they turn 21 up until the time they turn 65. Women can undergo a relatively routine pap smear in order to find out if they’re exhibiting any signs of cervical cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women at this time. More than 150,000 Americans are expected to die in 2018 alone as a result of lung cancer.
Most people know that lung cancer is often caused by smoking or frequent exposure to smoke. But it’s important to note that asbestos, radon, and other things can also cause cancer. You shouldn’t assume you don’t have lung cancer simply because you don’t smoke.
If you do smoke, though, it’s especially important for you to have lung cancer screenings done regularly as soon as you turn 50. A tomography test can turn up evidence of lung cancer in those smokers between the ages of 50 and 80.
Even if you have quit smoking cigarettes sometime in the last 10 to 15 years, it’s still recommended that you consider having a screening done. It could very well end up saving your life if lung cancer is caught early enough.
Are There Screenings Available for Other Types of Cancer?
You could very well end up saving your own life by having breast, colorectal, prostate, cervical, or lung cancer screenings done. But it’s important to remember that those aren’t the only types of cancer you can screen for.
You can also choose to be screened for ovarian, pancreatic, testicular, and thyroid cancer. While screenings for those types of cancer haven’t shown a big reduction in the number of deaths caused by them, that doesn’t mean you should ignore screenings for them altogether.
Speak with your doctor about your family’s medical history and the types of cancer you might be most susceptible to. It’ll allow you to figure out which screenings you should undergo as you get older.
Make Cancer Screenings a Major Priority in Your Life
There are far too many people dying every year simply because they don’t take the time to get screened for cancer.
You should make every effort to get screened on a regular basis. You should also talk to your close friends and family members and make sure they’re getting screened as well.
Cancer screenings should be a part of your regular conversations with your doctor, and you shouldn’t be too worried about the idea of having screenings performed. Feel free to ask your doctor any questions you might have about how screenings work and what they could do for you.
Check out our blog to learn more about how you can help your family members to lead fuller and healthier lives as they age.