Preventative screenings are the most effective treatments for cancer. Tests done for prevention allow this dangerous disease to be caught and treated while in the early stages and offers the best survival rates for the average patient. Improvements in cancer screening techniques have allowed certain cancers to be spotted earlier, and while it is smaller than previous methods could notice, it offers astronomically better odds for patients everywhere. Let’s examine some of the ways that the most common cancer screenings have improved over recent years.
Cancer screenings have improved markedly as a result of more research into specific types of cancer. This has helped doctors to create guidelines concerning intervals for screenings to occur, depending upon the age and other factors of an individual. The American Cancer Society states that tests to find rectal cancer should occur every three years, while other guidelines exist for more prominent cancers. This allows slow- and fast-developing cancers to be found, which in turn helps to greatly improve the life of any patient.
New Imaging Methods
New technologies have developed that allow for higher resolution imaging, and cancer consisting of just a few thousand cells can now be detected. Some of these methods are significantly safer and less invasive than previous models. Sonography is one such method that allows cancerous tumors to be identified without the need for potentially harmful radiation. Diagnostic medical sonographic schools now teach students these new technologies as part of the course work. Making new advancements more assimilated into hospitals and clinics everywhere.
By working with physicians and organizations to standardize cancer screenings, improvement in detecting cancer has been improved. Breast cancer screenings are an example of this.
With clinical breast examinations, practices like taking biopsies of growths has become common practice. Different scales have been developed to assess the results of biopsies, which in turn make it easier for doctors to consult patients with regards to their treatment options.
Considering Patient Involvement
One of the greatest improvements in cancer screenings revolves around the way physicians are aiming to better understand the desires of their patients. For example, some patients may be opposed to exams like breast exams due to the personal nature of these exams.
By informing patients of alternatives and the benefits of screenings, patients are better able to act quickly. This allows them to make informed decisions that work best for their health.
These four improvements are but a small start to making cancer screenings more effective. As new technologies develop, higher resolution, and safer imaging will become commonplace. When combined with more precise early treatment options, this could allow cancer to go from being one of the leading causes of death to one of the most prevented diseases. Hopefully new technologies will continue to develop, and in time will make cancer and all the involved treatments a thing of the past.
“Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.”
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