Screening and detection

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
The sooner most forms of cancer are diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of recovery. Cancer often runs in families, and generally, the more blood relatives you have with cancer, the greater your risk will be. Cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, and rectum are especially likely to occur within families. Many of the risks for developing cancer can be modified or eliminated, however, with early screening, cancer can be detected early and treated effectively. For example, mammography (mam-ah-graf-fee) can often identify a suspicious area in a woman's breast before a lump can be seen or felt. Mammograms are recommended every one to two years for women over 40 and every year for women over 50. Regular pap smears to detect cervical cancer are recommended annually for all women. People over 40 with a family history of colon or rectal cancer are advised to have a yearly examination of the lower colon and rectum. Annual prostate examinations are also recommended for all men over 50 and over the age of 40 for African-American men or those with a family history of prostate cancer. Be aware of the warning signs of cancer and have regular check ups. Also, learn how you can check yourself for early signs of certain cancer, particularly breast and testicular cancer. For more information about cancer screening and detection, contact a healthcare professional.

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