Recommendations for cancer screening

2016-02-03 06:00
PHOTO: supplied The NCCN recommends checking for breast lumps from as early as age 25.

PHOTO: supplied The NCCN recommends checking for breast lumps from as early as age 25.

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DURING this month of cancer awareness, I would like to inform readers of the most widely accepted guidelines taken from the recently updated National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines.

I can only focus on three common cancers at the moment, but in future columns, I will try to cover as much as possible regarding other cancers and cancer-risk assessment:

Breast cancer screening
The NCCN recommends checking for breast lumps from as early as age 25. Women between 25 and 40 years are encouraged to have a breast examination every one to three years. Women over 40 should have an annual examination and mammogram. If you fall under the high risk group (more in my next column) the guidelines change to a more frequent examinations.

Colon-rectal cancer
NCCN recommends screening at age 50 with a colonoscopy and a faecal sample to check for occult blood. Thereafter a colonoscopy should be performed every 10 years with annual faecal-based testing.

Prostate cancer
Most experts favour informed PSA (a blood test) testing from age 45 with repeat PSAs at one to two year intervals if the level is = 1.0ng/ml and at two to four annually if the level is below 1ng/ml.

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