Cancer screening is the process of looking for cancer before a person demonstrates symptoms. By the time symptoms appear, a cancer has grown large enough to disrupt the body’s normal function.
There are several types of screening tests:
Cancer screening is not perfect, and there are some associated risks. Finding a cancer may not improve person’s chances of successful treatment or living longer. There is no way to know whether treating an asymptomatic cancer will help a person live longer. In addition to this, many treatments for cancer cause side effects.
Risks of cancer screening include:
However, it’s still important to be screened for cancer. Many types of cancer are easier to treat when caught early. Consult with your doctor about when and how often you should be screened for cancer.