According to the American Cancer Society , one in three women and one in two men will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. Finding out that you have cancer can be scary and overwhelming. However, cancer treatments have improved significantly over the past 20 years. There are also some cancers that are more treatable than others, especially when caught early.
If you are diagnosed with one of the following forms of cancer, your chances of a successful treatment might be higher than you think.
Doctors are typically able to diagnose prostate cancer before it spreads to other parts of the body. They usually recommend prostate cancer screenings starting at the age of 50. A doctor can do a digital exam to assess the size of your prostate. They can also order a PSA test. This is a test that measures a specific protein in your blood. Men who have prostate cancer have higher levels of this protein.
Even though prostate cancer screenings are recommended at the age of 50, you may have to get one earlier. For example, if you have a family history of this condition, you may have to start getting screenings at 40. You should also see your doctor if you have blood in your urine or are experiencing other unusual symptoms.
2. Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that will affect about 12 percent of women in the United States . However, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent when it is caught early . Because a woman’s chances of survival are extremely high if the cancer is detected early, it is so important for women to do self-exams.
Many healthcare professionals recommend that women start doing self-exams when they are in their 20s. Even though women are more likely to develop breast cancer after the age of 50, it has been diagnosed in younger women. You should look for any unusual lumps, dimples or changes. Also, do your breast exam three to five days after your period. The menstrual cycle can cause changes in your breast.
You will also need to get a mammogram starting at the age of 40. Mammograms are recommended for women who are between the ages of 40 and 74. Additionally, clinical breast exams are recommended for women who are over the age of 20. This is a breast exam done by a healthcare professional to check for lumps or anything suspicious that may require further tests.
3. Thyroid Cancer
The thyroid is a small organ shaped like a butterfly that produces hormones that control your heart rate and metabolism. Fortunately, the five-year survival rate for thyroid cancer is 98 percent . The standard treatment for thyroid cancer is to remove all or part of the thyroid. If the doctor removes the entire thyroid, then you will have to take thyroid replacement medication for the rest of your life.
There is no specific test that is recommended for thyroid cancer. However, your doctor can feel your neck during an exam. If it feels swollen, it could indicate that you have thyroid issues You may also develop a lump on your neck if you have thyroid cancer.
4. Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is more common than any form of cancer. It is also the cancer with the highest survival rate. In fact, if skin cancer is detected early, the survival rate is close to 100 percent, according to the American Academy of Dermatology . Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of their age or skin color. That is why it’s essential for you to check your skin on a regular basis.
You should look for suspicious moles, discolorations or unusual textures. If you already have moles, ask your doctor to help you monitor them to see if they change in size or color. You should also see a doctor if you have a sore that takes more than three weeks to heal.
5. Testicular Cancer
Unlike many other types of cancers, testicular cancer is actually most often found in younger men. Common symptoms may include pain in the groin area or scrotum and general testicular discomfort that does not improve.
The five-year survival rate for testicular cancer is 95.1 percent . Doctors can typically treat this form of cancer by removing one or both testicles if they catch it early. If you only have one testicle removed, then it is still possible for you to have children.
6. Cervical Cancer
Unfortunately, cervical cancer may not have any symptoms. Many women do not know that they have it until they get a pap smear. This is why regular pap smear exams are so important to catch this type of cancer early. Test results will show whether there are precancerous or cancerous cells growing on the cervix. Your doctor will also be able to detect human papillomavirus (HPV), which often leads to cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer has a high survival rate because the cancerous cells have a tendency to grow slowly. If the precancerous cells are removed, then a woman’s chance of surviving is about 99 percent, according to the American Cancer Society .
Catching Cancer Early
As you can see, a cancer diagnosis is not always a death sentence. However, the key to surviving cancer is to catch it as early as possible. Preventative screenings and proactive healthcare play a crucial role in living a long, healthy life. To learn about low-dose CT scans offered at Preventative Diagnostic Center in Las Vegas, contact our team today! We are here to help you take control of your health through affordable screenings that only take minutes.
Dr. John J. Pierce is the Medical Director at Preventative Diagnostic Center. He is Board-certified in Emergency Medicine as well as Board-certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He received his medical training from Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, in Pomona California. He also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In addition to his regular practice, Dr. Pierce serves as a Tactical Physician with the Las Vegas SWAT team.