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What Tests Are Offered for Early Cancer Detection?

I want to take a more active role in my health. This includes being screened for different types of cancer. What tests are offered for early cancer detection?

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A variety of different tests are available to help screen for different types of cancer. The trick to using screening tests is to figure out who needs to be screened with what tests and how often. Screening too many people, too often -- especially with tests that tend to produce false positives -- causes a lot of unnecessary worry, cost, and sometimes pain and suffering due to unnecessary follow-up tests and procedures.
This is where screening guidelines are useful. Screening guidelines take into account various risk factors, such as age or family history, to determine if you should be screened and how often. The specific guidelines will vary, depending on the type of cancer.
Going to your annual checkup with your doctor? This is a great time to ask about any screening tests that might be recommended for you, such as Pap tests, colonoscopies, etc. If you have a specific concern, perhaps about some specific symptoms you are having, make an appointment to discuss these concerns with your doctor, even if it's not time for your annual checkup yet.
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