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The Importance of Screening for Undetectable Cancer
Harkey Funeral Home in Monahans, TX

The process of checking for cancer without symptoms is called screening. Typically cancer screenings will be recommended by a doctor. This is usually due to certain risk factors such as age, genetic history, exposure to cancer-causing chemicals or tobacco smoke, or other health issues. Common cancer screenings are mammograms to check for breast cancer, colonoscopies to check for colon cancer, and Pap smears to check for cervical cancer. 

Screening for cancer can be beneficial because it can often detect cancer early. This may make the cancer easier to treat. It may also help catch the cancer before it has grown and spread to other parts of the body which may increase survival rates.

There are different types of screening tests that may be used depending on the type of cancer a doctor is looking for. These include things like lab tests, imaging procedures, genetic tests or physical exams.

One thing to know is that screening tests are not meant to diagnose cancer. Instead, they help doctors and patients know when further investigation is needed. For example, if a lump is found during a routine mammogram, it would be important to do further testing. The lump could be cancer or it could be something else. In this case, a diagnostic test such as a biopsy would need to be done. 

Not all cancer screening tests are appropriate for everyone and they typically come with some risks as well. These risks include the possibility of a false-positive or false-negative result. Some cancer screening tests can cause bleeding or other problems. For example, a colonoscopy to check for colon cancer may cause tearing in the intestines. Also, the cancer treatment itself has side effects, and not all cancers will become life-threatening. So it is possible a person may undergo unnecessary treatment.

There are many routine cancer screenings available. These screenings can have the potential to save your, or a loved one’s, life. Talk to your doctor about possible cancer screenings and don’t hesitate to ask questions about the process and potential side effects. 

Encourage your loved ones to get their recommended cancer screenings and do the same for yourself. 



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