Early Detection of Cancer

Some types of cancer – including breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung – have tests that are able to detect them early, when they are more easily treated.

Breast Cancer:
Early detection of breast cancer is key to survival.
With regular screening, breast cancer is more likely to be detected at an earlier stage, when it is most treatable
The five-year survival rate among women whose breast cancer has not spread beyond the breast at the time of diagnosis is 98.6%.

Cervical Cancer:

  • Most cervical cancer in the United States could be prevented by ensuring that the HPV vaccine (safe, proven, and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is more widely utilized and given at the recommended age of 11-12 years in girls (can be given through age 26)
  • The Pap test for cervical cancer, is recommended to begin at age 21
  • More than half of cervical cancer deaths are seen in women who have either never had a Pap test, or have not had testing in more than five years.
  • The HPV vaccine is proven to prevent a number of cancers and is also recommended for boys ages 11-12 (can be given through age 26)

Colorectal Cancer:

  • Risk increases after age 50 – talk with your doctor about getting tested
  • If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or pre-cancerous polyps, talk with your doctor about starting testing before age 50
  • Many cases of colorectal cancer have no symptoms, especially early on, when it can be prevented or more effectively treated.

Lung Cancer:

  • Lung cancer Is by far the leading cause of cancer death, among both men and women, in the U.S. and Michigan
  • The best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke
  • Based on recent scientific data, some cancer organizations are encouraging people who may be at high risk for lung cancer to talk with their doctor about being screened – people at highest risk include those that: currently smoke or have quit smoking less than 15 years ago; have at least a 30 pack-year history of smoking and; are 55-74 years of age.
  • Doctors should talk to patients about the benefits, limitations, and potential harms of lung cancer screening.