TOMS RIVER, NJ, MARCH 3, 2009 – A new report from the American
Cancer Society (ACS) finds that although breast, cervical, and
colon screenings can detect cancers sooner and potentially save
lives, the number of people getting their recommended screenings
is still low. The report also shows that out of those getting
screened many still may not be following the recommended schedule—allowing
potential cancers to go undetected longer.
Since 2000, the ACS says the rate of screening for breast and
cervical cancers has stayed about the same, while the rate of colorectal
cancer screening has increased but not as fast as experts had hoped.
“People need to understand how important regular screening
is for detecting cancers early,” said Rajesh Iyer, MD, Community
Medical Center’s chairman of Radiation Oncology at the J.
Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center.
Some of the most common screening methods for detecting cancers
x-ray of the breast used to detect breast changes in women who
have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. It usually involves
two x-rays of each breast. Mammograms make it possible to
detect tumors that cannot be felt and can also find tiny deposits
of calcium in the breast that sometimes indicate the presence of
breast cancer. Only about 60 percent of women ages 40 to
64 get regular mammograms. For women over the age of 65, the percentage
test that checks for changes in the cells of a woman’s cervix. The
test is used to look for changes in the cells of the cervix that
show cervical cancer or conditions that may develop into cancer. Women
should start getting Pap smears at age 20.
outpatient procedure during which men and women’s large
bowel (colon and rectum) is examined from the inside. Colonoscopies
are usually used to evaluate symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal
bleeding, or changes in bowel habits. They are used to screen
for colorectal cancer. Only about 50 percent of
men and women ages 50 to 64 and 57 percent of those older than
65 have regular colonoscopies.
“While physicians can make recommendations, patients need
to take a proactive approach when it comes to their healthcare,” said
Dr. Iyer. “Tell your doctor you want to be current with the
recommended screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society,
as well as other health-care organizations.”
The ACS has reported that the number of men and women in the United
States dying from cancer has dropped for the first time since 1998.
“We believe the number of deaths has declined due to people
getting screened and being diagnosed with cancers at more treatable
stages,” says Dr. Iyer.
The J. Phillip
Citta Regional Cancer Center at Community Medical Center has early
access to new research discoveries on cancer prevention and treatment.
For more information on the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center
at Community Medical Center, or for referral to a physician, call
1-888-724-7123 or visit www.barnabashealth.org.
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