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Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer (Cancer of the cervix, or the mouth of the Uterus) today is the third most common cancer among women in the world.  One in every five women suffering from cervical cancer belongs to India, which has the largest number of cervical cancer patients in the world.

It is however, possible to prevent most deaths due to cervical cancer through various screening strategies that target young women. The introduction of Papanicolaou test (PAP smear) has led to significant reduction in deaths and illness in the West. In India, however, only half of the population is aware of symptoms and the majority are unaware of the risk factors for cervical cancer. Though the majority of women in our cities are literate and  know that cervical cancer can be detected early by a screening test, < 8% have ever done a Pap smear ! The reasons for not getting the screening test done in spite of a desire to do so were mainly no awareness, no disease or symptoms, do not know where to go, no one is doing it and never thought of it.

At the Cedar Clinics, we encourage our patients, their family members and the young population at large to do away with this ignorance, and take charge of their health and their lives.

Direct visual detection approaches for cervical cancer are also now being favoured by most Gynaecologists. This involves visualisation of the cervix directly using simple OPD instruments like a Colposcope, application of certain dyes like Lugol’s Iodine or Acetic acid to observe for staining of the cervical tissue under magnification. Suspicious areas can be sampled immediately (biopsy). This simple outpatient procedure can detect early lesions, and successful treatment at this stage can prevent development of cancer in the future.  

Drop in to the clinic, meet our Consultants and make yourself aware of this dreaded but easily preventable disease. Evidence based studies have found that the optimal age for cervical cancer screening to achieve greatest public health impact is between 30-40 yrs. A single visit or two visits can reduce the lifetime risk of cervical cancer by 25-35%. It is recommended that all women more than 30 years of age therefore should have a PAP smear test done every 3 years. Prevention is better than cure, as the old saying goes.

Speak with your Gynaecologist today about when you should begin screening and how often you should be tested.
Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus. Male gender, smoking, obesity and family history are risk factors for colorectal cancer.

Prevention and early detection are key factors in controlling and curing colorectal cancer. Indeed, colorectal cancer is the second most preventable cancer, after lung cancer.  It is the second leading cancer killer in the United States and the incidence in India is rapidly on the rise.

According to the latest published Asia Pacific Consensus guidelines, screening for colon cancer should be a national health priority in most Asian countries including India.

Precancerous polyps and early-stage colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. This means that someone could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is so important.

A screening test is used to look for a disease when a person doesn't have symptoms. (When a person has symptoms, diagnostic tests are used to find out the cause of the symptoms). Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.

Non-invasive tests such as Barium enema and CT scan/ CT Colography are not preferred as screening tests and undergoing a Colonoscopy is the best screening test for Colorectal Cancer or Colonic polyps.
Screening Guidelines for Colorectal cancer for Asia Pacific region:
  • If you do not have an increased risk of colorectal cancer because of your personal or family medical history, it is recommended to have a Colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50
  • If you have an increased risk of colorectal cancer because of your personal or family medical history, you should have a colonoscopy every 5 years beginning at age 40, or younger if hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is suspected.
  • For first-degree direct relatives of patients with colorectal cancer that has presented before age 50, screening should begin 10 to 20 years before the age of the diagnosed patient. For example, if your father is diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age 48, then you should begin your own colorectal cancer screening between ages 28 and 38.
Speak with your Gastroenterologist today about when you should begin screening and how often you should be tested.

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