Screenings are an effective tool to catch cancer at an early stage. For some cancers, early diagnosis and treatment make the disease curable, while for other types early identification lets you prevent the cancer from developing. The team at Patrick County Family Practice in Stuart, Virginia, is dedicated to providing all the community’s health care needs, including cancer screenings. To schedule a screening today, call Patrick County Family Practice or use the convenient online booking tool.
Cancer has one thing in common with other chronic diseases like high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes — it gradually develops without causing symptoms. By the time you experience symptoms, the cancer has likely progressed and become more difficult to treat.
When you get screened for cancer, your provider can identify the disease at its earliest stage when it’s still treatable. For some types of cancer, such as cervical and colorectal cancers, screening finds precancerous changes that can be removed to prevent cancer from developing in the first place.
The team at Patrick County Family Practice bases their cancer screening recommendations on your age, medical history, and personal risk factors.
A few examples of cancer risk factors include having a family history of cancer, being overweight or obese, and unhealthy habits like cigarette smoking. The team assesses your medical history and overall health to determine your risk factors and advises you on which cancer screenings you need.
There are a number of different types of screening tests, including a physical exam, STAT laboratory tests, imaging procedures, and genetic testing. Screenings offered by the team at Patrick County Family Practice include:
Women receive Pap tests, also called Pap smears, to screen for cervical cancer. Pap tests reveal precancerous and cancerous changes in cells removed from the cervix.
Breast cancer screening includes a clinical breast exam and mammogram, which is a low-dose X-ray image of your breasts. If you have a high risk of breast cancer due to a family history or genetic mutations, your provider may also recommend an MRI.
Lung cancer screenings generally consist of an X-ray. In some cases, you may need a CAT scan, which produces a more detailed image and can pick up smaller areas of cancer better than an X-ray.
Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma cause a variety of skin lesions. The deadliest type of skin cancer, melanoma, usually starts in an existing mole. Skin cancer screening consists of a thorough, full-body exam to evaluate every lesion on your body.
Men are screened for prostate cancer in two ways, with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE).
To learn more about your risk for cancer and whether you’re due for a screening, call Patrick County Family Practice or schedule an appointment online today.