Colon Or Colorectal Cancer Screening Methods

Colon cancer and its risks must be known to every one. Not only male or female, but also aging people should know the risk factors of the cancer and how to cure it. This article will discuss screening guidelines available today in the medical world.

There are three ‘colorectal’ screening guidelines that are commonly practiced today. Screening is recommended for those aged 50 and above or at a younger age if there is a family history of colon cancer. However, there are certain guidelines for these screening methods.

The first being ‘colonoscopy’. ‘Colonoscopy’ is a procedure in which a long flexible viewing tube (a ‘colonoscope’) is inserted through the rectum to inspect the entire colon and rectum (anus). Tissue samples from growths arising from the inner lining of the rectum and colon can be obtained during the procedure. This procedure may be done every three to five years.

The second screening method is called ‘sigmoidoscopy’. It is rather similar to the earlier described ‘colonoscopy’. The former is different in that this screening technique examines the large intestine from the rectum through the last part of the colon. There are two types; flexible and rigid. Similarly to ‘colonoscopy’, it may be performed every three to five years.

Lastly, faecal occult blood test is performed to detect colon cancer. This test is done to look for microscopic blood in the stool. It requires the collection of a stool sample that will be tested. The faecal occult blood test can also help indicate other gastrointestinal problems that could be causing the symptoms seen. This particular test should be done annually.

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Breast Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life

One in 9 women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime. One in 27 will die of it. Breast cancer attacks mainly women, however there’s 1% of breast cancer patients are men.

As we get older, the risk of getting breast cancer increases. Basically, all women have a certain degree of risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have a family history of breast cancer have a much higher risk of contracting this disease. There are other factors that may attribute to the higher or lower the risk of developing breast cancer, some of them, e.g. Genetic risk factors, aging etc you can’t change, some e.g. lifestyle-related factors, you can.

Good news is that most of breast cancer patients will survive and still live a healthy life if diagnosed early and treated properly. The important thing we can do is do regular screening. It’s a way to check if there are any changes in the breasts that may lead to problems. Screening includes a breast x-ray (mammogram), clinical breast examination (a physical exam of the breasts by a health care professional, CBE for short) and breast self-examination (BSE).

All women starting from age 20 are recommended to do breast cancer screening according to the following guidelines:

For women in their 20s and 30s, take clinical breast examination once in every three years, for women 40 and older, take it once every year.

For women 40 and older, take a mammogram every year. Mammography may have some limitations and could miss some cancers, it is still considered to be the gold standard for early detection of breast cancer.

Starting from age 20, women may choose to do breast self-examination. The benefits of BSE may not be too obvious as it’s probably a little too late when you can notice any changes. It could still be beneficial in that it helps notice any changes in the breasts so you can report them to your doctor.

Those women with higher risk factors of developing breast cancer, for example, women with family history of cancer or with a known genetic mutation of a BRCA gene, need to take extra efforts to promote awareness and take steps for prevention. Consult your doctor to discuss the risk and take necessary steps to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.

Breast cancer is mostly curable if found early and given good treatment. Screening is a way to detect it at its early stage. Bear this in mind: breast cancer screening can save you life. Take the time to do it.

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