The Importance of Preventive Cancer Screening

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February 23, 2021
Prevent Cancer

Taking control of your health starts with being proactive. Screenings are a vital component of comprehensive healthcare and they’re the best way to identify cancer in its earliest stages, often before it causes any symptoms.

The physicians at Arizona Oncology want to encourage everyone to continue getting their regular screenings during these unprecedented times. Delaying important routine exams, such as mammograms, colonoscopies and lung screenings, can increase the chance of the cancer spreading to other organs. The fact remains, most cancer is treatable if detected early.

For some, restrictions and fears during the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused delays in these important screenings. In a study published in May 2020, Epic Health Research Network found that preventive cancer screenings in the United States abruptly dropped 86% (colon) and 94% (breast and cervical) following the declaration of the COVID-19 national emergency. Although the number of cancer screenings has recently begun to rise, they have not yet reached previously expected levels.1

Types of Cancer Screening Tests

Most screening tests are specific to certain types of cancer. Your screening recommendations exam will depend on your risk factors, which includes personal and family history, smoking habits, and lifestyle.

Some of the recommended exams include:

  • Mammography
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing
  • Pap test
  • Colonoscopy
  • Low-dose CT scan
  • Skin cancer examination

Patients who are high-risk or have symptoms of concern should contact their doctor immediately about available cancer screenings and diagnostic tests.

In addition, our physicians recommend that patients get screened if they have previously canceled or postponed testing or treatment, are overdue for their screening, or have a family history of cancer and other high-risk factors.

Any person with cancer or a suspected cancer diagnosis is urged the contact a nearby Arizona Oncology practice for more information on early screening and treatment options.