Sunday, November 23, 2008

Early detection of cancer‏

Most of the success we have had in battling cancer over the past several decades is the result of diagnosing cancers earlier. This is why most physicians encourage their patients to get a mammogram, have a PSA blood test or have a colonoscopy. These tests have been designed to try to diagnose cancers earlier and have them removed before they spread. Remember once cancers have spread or advanced enough to cause symptoms, it is generally too late. Now we have had some improved success with blood-borne cancers like lymphoma and leukemia as well as tumors like testicular cancer; however, cancer deaths continue to rise.

I still would recommend that everyone consider having a colonoscopy every 5 years after the age of 50. Almost all colon cancers begin as benign polyps, which can be removed through the scope before they become cancerous. Occasionally having a mammogram after age 40 is also a good idea; however, I am not sure that an annual mammogram is the best way to go. If you have the opportunity in your area to have thermography, I would take advantage of this testing. Having a complete physical with bloodwork annually after the age of 50 is also a good idea.

Source: Dr. Strand Health Nuggets (