Early Recognition Is Critical. That’s who we are and that’s who we do. Did you know that general guidelines recommend screening for only four types of cancer? Breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung account for 29% of all cancers and about 25% of cancer-related deaths in the US. There are no screening tests for other cancers; those tend to be diagnosed after a person has developed symptoms. Which means diagnoses are often made once the cancer has reached an advanced stage, making it far more difficult to treat.


Caroline Pearson, BA, senior vice president at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC at the University of Chicago) believes “the healthcare system’s ability to screen for cancer, which is essentially for early diagnosis and effective treatment, still has a long way to go. There needs to be more screening options to catch more cancers and improve outcomes for patients.” 


Pearson and NORC are working toward that effort and deemed their research, which calculated the proportions between detectable cancers annually, to be the first of its kind. They utilized data from the National Cancer Institute as well as self-reported screening data from the National Health Information Survey to develop their analysis. The percentage of cancer detected through screening for each type is listed below. All of it was found by Pearson and her team. 


“It is estimated that more than three quarters of prostate cancer cases (77%) were diagnosed by the PSA screening test, given the high rates of the disease and reported overdiagnosis. About 61% of breast cancers were detected through mammography. The incidence of cervical cancer is low, and over half of cases (52%) are found with a PAP smear. Rates were lower for colorectal cancer, for which 45% of diagnosed cases were detected by some type of screening. Only 3% of lung cancers were found through screening.”


What does this mean for you? It means that while screening technology and methodology continues to develop, early recognition is still the clear strategy to pursue when thinking preventively. Live a healthy lifestyle, see your doctor regularly, and speak up! when something feels wrong.

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