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Screening tests

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Some types of cancer can be detected before they cause symptoms. Checking for cancer (or for conditions that can trigger the development of cervical cancer) of people who have no symptoms is called screening.

Screening helps doctors find and treat certain types of cancer in the early stages. Generally, cancer treatment is more effective if the disease is detected at the initial stage.

Screening tests are widely used to test the breast cancer, uterus, colon and rectum:

1. Chest: mammography - is the best tool with which doctors diagnose breast cancer in its early stages. Mammogram - a picture of breast made with x-rays. Women after forty years of age and older are recommended to do a mammogram every year. Women who have a higher risk of breast cancer should talk with their doctor about whether to do a mammogram before the age of 40 years and how often.

2. Uterus: Pap test (sometimes called Pap smear) is used to check cervical cells. The doctor takes a sample of cells from the cervix. The lab checks the cells for cancer or changes that may provoke the development of cancer (including changes caused by the human papilloma virus, the main risk factor for the formation of cervical cancer). Women should start doing Pap test within 3 years of becoming sexually active or when they reach the age of 21. Most of the women have to do Pap test at least once in 3 years.

3. colon and rectum: a series of screening tests are used to detect polyps (growths), cancer or other problems in the colon and rectum. People aged 50 years and older should be screened. People who have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer should talk with their doctor about whether to make screening tests at age 50 and how often.

Fecal occult blood test: Sometimes cancer or polyps cut. This test can detect small amounts of blood in the stool.

Sigmoidoscopy. The doctor checks inside the rectum and lower colon with a lighted tube. A doctor may remove polyps usually through the tube.

Colonoscopy - a diagnosis of the inner surface of the rectum and colon using a probe. It allows you to visually diagnose ulcers, polyps, and the biopsy.

Barium enema. This is a special x-ray rectum and colon, is used to detect colon cancer.

Digital rectal examination. Rectal diagnostics is part of a routine medical examination. The physician inserts, lubricated gloved finger into the rectum to examine the anomalous zones. Digital rectal examination allows for the study, only in the lower part of the rectum.

Doctors consider many factors before they suggest the use of a screening test. They weigh factors related to cancer and a test that the test can detect. They also pay special attention to the risk of developing certain types of cancer in humans. For example, doctors examined the age, medical history, general health, family history and lifestyle. Doctors also think about the risks and benefits of treatment if testing finds cancer. They predict how well the treatment works and what side effects it causes.

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