In the U.S., the most commonly diagnosed cancers are breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer. The best way to fight cancer is to diagnose it and treat it early. Cancer screening tests help doctors find cancers early, when treatments tend to be more effective, and survival rates are higher. Learn about which cancer screening exams are right for you.
The most trusted breast cancer screening tool is mammography. The Association of Alexandria Radiologists offers traditional 2D mammograms as well as 3D mammography, which provides a more detailed layer-by-layer view of each breast. Annual mammograms are recommended for all women beginning at age 40.
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in men and women yet symptoms often don’t appear until the disease has advanced. However, when caught early, treatment is more effective and survival rates are much higher. Lung cancer screening with Low Dose CT has been proven to save lives. This screening exam is offered by the Association of Alexandria Radiologists and is recommended for men and women aged 55-74 who meet the following criteria:
- Current or former smoker with a 30-pack year history, calculated using this formula: Pack-Years = (number of packs smoked per day) x (number of years smoked)
- Current smoker or have quit in the last 15 years
Prostate cancer begins in the male prostate and often grows very slowly, and may spread to neighboring tissues including lymph nodes and bones. An annual prostate cancer screening exam, known as a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE), is recommended for all men age 50 and older. If a potential abnormality is found during the exam, an ultrasound or biopsy may be recommended to provide a more definitive diagnosis, and both are offered by the Association of Alexandria Radiologists.
Colorectal cancer includes cancers of the colon or rectum, and often begins as a growth on the inner lining of the colon called a polyp. The Association of Alexandria Radiologists offers a virtual colonoscopy exam, which is a more comfortable alternative to a traditional colonoscopy. Virtual colonoscopy is performed using a CT machine and special software that creates a 3D image of the interior lining of the large intestine, colon and rectum. Colorectal cancer screening is recommended for all men and women over the age of 50 every 7-10 years.
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