Screening for Early Detection of Cancer
Routine screenings can detect diseases in early, and often more treatable, stages. There are many different screening tests available. A few are recommended for everyone, while others are meant for those at high risk of a disease. The best way to determine which tests are personally most appropriate is to establish a good relationship with your family physician. Your medical history, family history, diet and lifestyle all interact to influence your personal risk for cancer and other diseases.
Here are some guidelines for some types of cancer. Keep in mind these recommendations are for people with average risk of cancer. Patients with a personal or family history and those with other risk factors may need earlier and/or more frequent screening.
Some Other Preventive Services
There are several other screening tests that doctors sometimes perform. Again, the recommended tests and screening frequency are based on personal risk factors.
Beside the common screening tests, there are many other types of preventive services recommended. Routine blood tests may be used to measure levels of calcium (to assess bone health, screen for kidney or parathyroid problems), creatine (kidney problems), albumin (liver or kidney problems), protein (multiple myeloma, inflammation, liver damage, digestive disease), sodium (heart or kidney problems), iron (anemia or iron overload), bilirubin (liver or gallbladder problems). Doctors may also screen for vision or hearing problems, alcohol or drug use, smoking, and in women, screening for intake of folic acid and/or calcium.