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Your Guide to Early Detection of Cancer

The best way to treat cancer is to find it early. This is why it is important to recognize the warning signs and get regular screenings for cancer. Here are some of the tests you can do at home or with a visit to your doctor's office.

At-Home Tests

There are many different tests that you can do in your own home, some of which are low-tech while others involve testing kits.

One low-tech option for breast cancer is the breast self-examination (SBE). Women over the age of 20 should perform this test regularly. This test involves looking at your breasts and feeling them for the growth of lumps, swelling, and changes in the skin.

Another at-home test you can do is for skin cancer. People of any age should perform this test regularly. Look for changes in your skin such as the growth of a mole, oozing skin, dry patches, or pain.

There are three different types of home-tests you can do to check for symptoms of colon cancer. You can purchase the fecal immunohistochemical test (FIT), the guaiac fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), and the stool DNA test online. These tests involve collecting a small stool sample and sending it to a lab for analysis. Anyone over the age of 50 should consider doing these at-home tests.

You should report any suspected symptoms to your practitioner.

Going to the Doctor

While home tests are useful, your local doctor can screen you for a variety of cancers.

Women between the ages of 21 and 65 should get Pap smears, which screen for cervical cancer, annually. Also, women who are old that 40 should get mammograms every year.

Starting at 50, men should discuss with their doctor whether the prostate cancer screening is right for them.

Your doctor can perform a colonoscopy to detect colon cancer. This should be done every 10 years.

During your yearly checkup, be sure to ask for recommendations for the cancer screenings that are the most relevant to you.

To learn more about how you can help detect cancer early, contact Johnson Memorial Health today.

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