Many people, it seems, avoid cancer screenings, even if they schedule yearly physical exams. One reason is inconvenience. Another reason is fear.
However, many cancers can be treated successfully, or at least kept in check, if caught early enough. And the screenings represent the best route to early detection.
The longer the cancer is in the body, and the longer it remains untreated, the more likely it will move to another part of the body through the circulatory system or lymph glands.
The good news is that being screened for cancer doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience for anyone.
Exactly what screenings you should have depends on your age and risk factors. Adults should start with a physical exam and then ask a healthcare provider which screenings are needed. Do as much research about cancer screenings as possible. Find reliable sources to verify information you find in popular media. Take a friend with you who has already been through a screening.
Finally, tell your friends to get the screenings. You can help a great deal by going out and encouraging people to get their cancer screenings. Even if you can encourage just one person to get screened just one time a year, that can help. The American Cancer Society offers general guidelines on cancer-related screenings on its web site at cancer.org.
Annually, Agnesian HealthCare offers its free Living Smart community cancer screening event at the Agnesian Cancer Center, 480 E. Division Street. This year’s event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 20.
The screening event offer the following educational booths, tests and exams performed by Agnesian HealthCare physicians and community dentists: oral (mouth and tongue) exams; skin exams; prostate cancer check with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test (must be 70 years old or less and no past history of prostate cancer to participate, cost is $5); rectal exams; colorectal cancer check with fecal immunochemical test (FIT test) also known as a stool sample ($5 fee); breast self-exam education; cancer risk assessment surveys for breast and colorectal cancer; and cancer prevention super food cooking demo and taste testing.
To register, call (920) 926-4100.