Cancer Screening: Understanding Your Risk.

brachyAt the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center, we do more than just treat cancer. We also offer multiple prevention programs to help you understand your risk and act proactively. Thanks in large part to prevention and screening awareness efforts, cancer deaths have dropped steadily (down 26 percent between 1991 and 2015), and this positive trend is expected to continue. As part of Cancer Screen Week, we’ve developed an overview of the three major screenings we offer – breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer screening – to help you better understand if any of them may be right for you.

Breast Cancer Screening

Like any cancer, early detection of breast cancer is key. If caught in its early stages it much easier to treat and cure, whereas breast cancer in its more advanced stages can be difficult to treat. Since 1990, it’s estimated that mammograms have reduced breast cancer by 40 percent. It is recommended that women go in for an annual mammogram starting at the age of 40, or earlier if their family history puts them at higher risk.

We also offer the High Risk Breast Cancer Program, for those women at a higher risk for developing breast cancer based on family history or other factors. Your team will help you manage your risk by providing education, personalized screening plans, prevention strategies and more.

Colon Cancer Screening

It is recommended that everyone age 50 or older get a colonoscopy regularly to screen for colon cancer. A colonoscopy allows your doctor to examine your entire colon and remove or biopsy any abnormal growths found during the procedure. If caught early, colon and rectal cancers are among the most preventable types of cancer.

We offer colon cancer screening in partnership with UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Digestive Health Center. Talk to your primary care doctor to schedule your colonoscopy at St. Luke’s

Lung Cancer Screening

Again, early detection is the best prevention when treating lung cancer (notice a trend yet?). Together with St. Luke’s Hospital, we offer an accredited Lung Check Program. The program includes a CT scan of the chest, risk assessment, smoking cessation information and more.

The Lung Check Program is recommended for:

  • Men and women ages 55-77, who have smoked a pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years
  • Anyone who quit smoking less than 15 years ago and smoked one or more packs per day for 15 or more years.

For more information on any of these screenings call the Community Cancer Center at (319) 558-4876. Want to find out more about your cancer risk? Our Genetics and Cancer Risk Assessment Clinic may be for you. Take our Genetic Testing Questionnaire to see if you are a potential candidate for genetic testing.

Stats courtesy of Cancer Treatment Centers of America

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