Screening tests for cancer can save lives. Early detection is key in many cases. Breast, lung, cervical and other cancers are the most common in women. These cancers can be prevented by regular screening and preventive measures.
A doctor may recommend cancer screening. However, this does not mean that the doctor believes the person has cancer. Screening is done to prevent the possibility of developing cancer. Screening early for cancer is more beneficial than waiting until it’s too late.
Any complications, if any, can be detected in the early stages. There are many types of screening tests for women. Each test is based on a variety of factors such as age, genetics and family history, lifestyle or smoking exposure.
These are the five most common types of cancer found in women, and the screening tests that are recommended.
1. Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among women in India and around the globe. Breast cancer can happen to any woman, but the risk increases as women age.
Breast cancer can be increased by several factors, including genetics, age, family history, density of breast tissue, early menstruation, radiation treatment for the chest and dietary issues.
Doctors recommend a mammogram as a screening test for breast cancer. This X-ray test is used to detect small, untreated cancerous lumps within the breast.
Every woman over 40 years old should have a mammogram performed annually. The woman’s risk factors will determine how often or when they should be performed again. A doctor should discuss the best schedule for the screening test.
2. Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal Cancer, another form of cancer that affects women, is also a possibility. The risk of developing it increases with age. The risk factors include obesity, poor physical activity, family history, heavy smoking, excessive red meat consumption, and excess drinking.
A colonoscopy is recommended as the first test to detect early signs of colorectal carcinoma in women. It will detect abnormal growth of tissue in the colon. A colonoscopy can easily remove any abnormal tissue to minimize the risk of complications.
3. Cervical Cancer
Women are more likely to develop cervical cancer in the lower part or uterus. Certain types of chronic HPV infections, smoking and weak immune systems are all risk factors for cervical cancer. Common symptoms include irregular menstrual bleeding, vaginal drainage, pain in the vaginal area, and unusual vaginal movements.
A pap test, which is a screening test for cervical cancer, is used to examine the cervix and take a sample. A woman in her reproductive stage must be cautious about abnormalities in her cervix. She should consult her doctor to ensure regular screenings for cervical cancer.
4. Ovarian Cancer
Although this type of cancer can happen at any age, it is more common in older women and women who have a history of ovarian cancer or are already diagnosed with breast cancer.
Ovarian cancer symptoms in women include low abdominal pain, abnormal bleeding from the vaginal, irregular periods, unusual back pain, and loss of appetite. However, these symptoms are more common in the later stages. A pelvic exam is a necessary part of routine health checks.
Other tests such as an ultrasound, biopsy, and other tests are also recommended. If the doctor suspects that you have ovarian cancer, you may be referred to a specialist.
5. Endometrial cancer
This type of cancer is very common in females. It occurs in the lining and uterus. Endometrial cancer risk factors include early menstruation, late menopause and taking estrogen after menopause. Family history of infertility, late/no pregnancies, and early onset.
You should not rely on screening tests to detect uterine cancer. These warning signs include heavy menstruation and vaginal bleeding, blood-tinged vaginal drainage, pelvic pain, vaginal discomfort, and vaginal pain.
A doctor might recommend a transvaginal ultrasound and an endometrial biopsy to rule out uterine cancer.
Talk to your doctor about the risks associated with common types of cancer that affect women.
This will allow you to plan the best schedule for regular health checks that includes regular screenings for cancer. It is easier to treat many types of cancers in women if they are caught early.