Cancer Screening Methods

Cancer Screening Methods1

Celebrate the New Year by encouraging the men in your life to protect their health by getting up to date on cancer screening.  Screening tests look for cancer before a person has any signs or symptoms.

Regular screenings can catch some cancers early, when they’re small, have not spread, and are easier to treat.

With colon cancer, some screening tests can even help prevent cancer from developing in the first place.

Tests Which Find Cancer and Polyps

Colonoscopy

What:

The rectum’s interior and entire colon are examined by a medical clinician with a lighted tube called a colonoscope.

When:

Most physicians recommend screening beginning at 50 and every ten years after that. If a man has a family history, then earlier, and more frequent, screening may be called for.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

What:

A sigmoidoscopy explores the rectum and lower part of the colon with a sigmoidoscope.

When:

Beginning at age 50 and every five years after that. As with a colonoscopy, if a man has a family history of colon cancer, then an initial, earlier test and more frequent screenings are recommended.

Virtual Colonoscopy

What:

X-rays and computers are used to create multi-dimensional images of the colon and rectum.

When:

Starting at age 50 and each five years

Double-Contrast Barium Enema

What:

Barium and air are pumped into the rectum, and the solution shows polyps or tumors on x-rays.

When:

Beginning at age 50 and each five years after that.

Tests That Indicate Cancer

Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBT)

What:

This test may identify small traces of blood in the stool. An FOBT requires abstaining from red meat and some medications for some days before the test.

When:

Starting at age 50 and once a year after that

Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

What:

Used to detect blood that cannot be seen without a microscope. A FIT is used to detect bleeding in the digestive tract where no other indicators or symptoms are present. Similar to an FOBT, a FIT test doest does not require restricting diet before getting the test.

When:

Starting at age 50 and once a year after that

Stool DNA

What:

Searches for DNA mutations caused by cancerous tumors or precancerous polyps.

When:

As the preferred screening interval has not been determined, a discussion with a physician, before performing the test, is recommended.

Regular cancer screening is painless and many insurance companies cover the procedures. There is no reason to put off a cancer screening for another year.

Get your Health Screenings done at Manhattan Physical Exam Center.