Get smart with cancer!


Screening tests for cancer

Cancer is largely curable if detected early in its stages. Cancer produces symptoms very late in its origin, which makes the treatment extensive and prolonged. Early detection saves the person from alot of trouble and this is only possible with frequent and regular preventive cancer screening tests.

Read on to know more about various cancer screening tests.

Physical examination

Screening for cancer begins by examining the body. A complete physical examination of the body is done by the doctor. A complete pervious medical history is taken, which includes medical history of parents, record of any past illness and the medications, if he is on any. A routine rectal examination is done to screen for rectal cancers. Skin is looked for any abnormal growths, discolorations and eruptions, indicative of skin cancerous lesions.

Tests in laboratory

Samples of urine and blood are taken to spot the presence of any cancerous disease in the body. These samples help in diagnosing the cancer by resulting in elevated blood counts and abnormal levels of chemicals in the urine.

AMAS (anti-malignant antibody screen test)

This test helps in finding the antibodies (protein) present in the blood stream, which appear due to the presence of cancerous cells in the body.

PSA (Prostate specific antigen test)

Prostate specific antigen is a protein which is present in the prostate gland in males. PSA test helps in diagnosing prostate cancer by identifying the quantity of prostate specific antigen present in the blood.

TMT (Tumor marker test)

Tumor markers are produced by tumor cells and are found in the blood. It does help in diagnosing cancer to some extent but as tumor markers are also produced by some other cells in the body and hence the diagnosis in not most accurate.

Screening by imaging procedures

Imaging techniques are very helpful in detecting cancers at an early stage. Ultrasound, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), Computer Tomography (CT) scan, X-rays and mammogram (to visualize the breast) are popularly used in cancer detection.

A mammogram is recommended for women over forty, annually. Everyone over 50 should be screened for colon cancer, which can be done via a barium contrast enema.

Tissue sampling and biopsy

Tissue from a viscous organ is taken in smear test like in a Pap smear test which checks for cancer of the cervix. All sexually active women should have a Pap smear done at least once every three years.

Some tissue is also taken and sent for a laboratory test if there is any abnormal growth found in the body.

Preventive care is always a good option and is less expensive. Go for regular medical health checkup, which will detect disease and catches cancers early.