Do not wait for your doctor to suggest these tests. Help yourself; ask for them to be done.
Cancers are diseases in which some body cells undergo uncontrolled growth, invasion of surrounding tissues, and spread to other parts of the body. Cancerous diseases are also called malignant neoplasms. These diseases are easier to prevent, treat or manage adequately if they are detected at an early stage in the course of the disease. As such, people are advised to undergo routine screening to check for the presence of these conditions. Women suffer from a number of cancers which include:
Cervical Cancer (cancer of the cervix)
Endometrial Cancer (cancer of the uterus)
Ovarian Cancer (cancer of the ovaries)
Colorectal Cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum)
Other cancerous diseases they could suffer from include cancers of the skin, thyroid gland, and oral cavity.
Screening Tests Women Should Undergo for Early Detection of Cancer
Breast Self-Examination (BSE): This examination is carried out by the woman herself on a regular basis usually monthly. Women should know how their breasts look and feel normally, and should report any changes to a doctor (not all changes indicate cancer). How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam
Clinical Breast Examination: This is performed by a gynaecologist periodically. It is recommended that it is done every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every 1 year for women above 40 years.
Mammography: This is the process of using x-rays to examine the breast. Other tissue scanning techniques such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are usually used in addition to mammography. It is done in women 40 years and above.
Pap Test (Pap Smear, Cervical Smear): This test should be carried out in women 3 years after they begin having sex. All women above the age of 21 years should be screened. It should be done every 1-2 years.
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) DNA Test: HPV is an important risk factor in cervical cancer. This test screens for the presence of the types of HPV most likely to cause cervical cancer.
Pelvic Examination: It is carried out by a doctor periodically.
Endometrial Biopsy: In this procedure, an instrument is used to obtain tissue scrapings from the uterine lining. These scrapings are then analyzed by a pathologist. It is recommended for women at the age of menopause and above.
TVU (Transvaginal Ultrasound) Imaging: This is done by a doctor to visualize the ovaries using an ultrasound scanner inserted inside the vagina. It is recommended for women at high risk for ovarian cancer.
CA-125 (Carcinogenic Antigen 125) Blood Level Measurement: Ovarian cells may produce increased levels of CA-125 when ovarian cancer is present. Other conditions such as endometriosis, non-gynaecological cancers and the first trimester of pregnancy also result in the production of this antigen. It is usually recommended in conjunction with TVU.
These tests are recommended for women 50 years old and above.
Invasive Tests (Detect Both Cancer and Polyps)
1. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: Recommended every 5 years.
2. Double Contrast Barium Enema: Recommended every 5 years.
3. CT Colonography: Recommended every 5 years.
4. Colonoscopy: Recommended every 10 years or if one of the above tests gives a positive result.
Non-Invasive Tests (Detect Only Cancer)
Faecal Occult Blood Test: Recommended annually.
Faecal Immunochemical Test: Recommended annually.
Other Cancerous Conditions
Cancer of the Skin: Periodic clinical skin examinations should be carried out by a dermatologist to detect possible cancerous changes.
Cancer of the Oral Cavity: The oral cavity can be screened by a dentist during dental visits.
Cancer of the Thyroid Gland: Screening for changes in the thyroid gland should be part of regular medical work-ups.
Written by midnightauthor
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tags: Cancer, Detection, Early, Screening, Tests, Women