The importance of preventive cancer screening


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Taking control of your health starts with being proactive. Screenings are an essential part of comprehensive health care, and they are the best way to identify cancer in its earliest stages, often before it causes symptoms.

The doctors at Arizona Oncology want to encourage everyone to continue getting their regular screenings during these unprecedented times. Delaying important routine exams, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and lung exams, can increase the chances of the cancer spreading to other organs. The fact remains that most cancers are treatable if detected early.

“The impact of early screenings goes far beyond detecting cancer,” says Dr. Lyndsay Willmott, gynecologic oncologist at Arizona Oncology. “It’s an important opportunity to discuss and evaluate your risks and make any adjustments that may help minimize your chances of developing cancer.”

For some, restrictions and fears amid the COVID-19 pandemic have caused delays in these important showings. In a study published in May 2020, Epic Health Research Network found that preventive cancer screenings in the United States fell abruptly by 86% (colon) and 94% (breast and cervix) following the declaration of the COVID-19 national emergency. Although the number of cancer studies has started to rise recently, they have not yet reached the level previously expected.[1]

Types of screening tests

Most screening tests are specific to certain types of cancer. Your exam for screening recommendations will depend on your risk factors, including personal and family history, smoking habits, and lifestyle.

Some of the recommended exams are:

  • mammography
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing.
  • Pap test
  • colonoscopy
  • Low dose CT scan
  • Skin cancer research

Patients who are at high risk or have worrisome symptoms should contact their doctor immediately about available cancer screenings and diagnostic tests.

In addition, our physicians recommend that patients be screened if they have previously canceled or delayed a test or treatment, if they are late for their screening, or if they have a family history of cancer and other risk factors.

Any person with cancer or suspected cancer diagnosis is urged to contact the practice directly at (888) 972-CURE (2873) for more information about early screening and treatment options.

About Arizona Oncology

Arizona Oncology plays an important role in helping its patients win the battle against cancer by providing easy access to a full range of cancer care services in a compassionate environment. Arizona Oncology believes it is beneficial to offer cancer therapies in a community close to patients.

[1] https://www.ehrn.org/articles/delayed-cancer-screenings-a-second-look/

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