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Cancer tests can save your life

catch-cancer

Breast Cancer

For women in the United States, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer after skin cancer. It also ranks second (after lung cancer) as a cause of cancer deaths. But, when found early, breast cancer is often easier to treat.

A mammogram is a safe, low-dose x-ray of the breast. Mammograms are still the best tool for finding breast cancer early, because they can show changes in the breast long before you or your doctor can feel them.

Many women have their first mammogram around age 40. Talk to you doctor to help you decide when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer affects men and women of all races and ethnic groups. Colon cancer is most often found in people who are 50 years old and older. It is the third most common cancer in men and women.

Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States – but screenings can change that. If everybody aged 50 and older had regular screenings for colon cancer, experts say that 60 percent of the deaths from colon cancer could be prevented.

Why? Because a screening can find “pre-cancerous growths” like polyps. Your doctor can remove them before they become cancer. Second, regular screenings can diagnose cancer at an early stage, when it is easier to treat, and when treatment can lead to a cure.

If you are age 50 or older and have not had a screening for colon cancer, please call your doctor to schedule one.

Cervical Cancer

This cancer starts to grow on a woman’s cervix. It usually forms slowly and does not cause any symptoms until it is at an advanced stage. Cervical cancer is almost always caused by a virus called “human papillomavirus” (HPV). HPV is very common. In fact, most people get it at some point in their life. Most of the time, the body’s immune system fights off HPV on its own, before HPV can cause any health problems. It is only when HPV stays on a woman’s cervix for many years that it can cause cervical cancer. That is why it is so important to have a screening called a Pap test. This test checks for changes in the cells of your cervix that may signal cancer. If caught early, the chance of curing cervical cancer is higher.