They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
We agree, and remind all of our readers of the benefits of screenings that might lead to early detection of a health concern, which can in turn to lead to a better outcome.
The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 606,880 Americans will die from cancer in 2019. Getting recommended screenings, in combination with other healthy behaviors like quitting smoking, losing weight and increasing physical activity, reduces the risk of developing and dying from cancer.
This Thursday the Enterprise puts out its Breast Cancer Awareness section and we’d like to note early detection of certain cancers, including breast, improve the ability of those to be treated successfully, saving lives.
According to the ACS, early detection through screening reduces mortality from colon, rectum, breast, uterine, cervix and lung cancers. Furthermore, screening for colorectal and cervical cancers can prevent these cancers by identifying precancerous lesions that can be removed.
What screening tests should you get? While it’s best to talk with your doctor first, the ACS recommends the following:
• Starting at age 50, both men and women should get a colonoscopy to look for polyps and colon and rectal cancer.
• Women age 45 to 54 should get an annual breast cancer screening with mammograms.
• Women should be screened for cervical cancer with a Pap test starting at age 21.
• Smokers aged 55 to 74 who are in otherwise good health who have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years should be screened for lung cancer.
• Men, starting at age 50, should talk to their doctor about the pros and cons of testing for prostate cancer.
Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of being screened, and encourage family or friends to do that same.