As we continue to age, it becomes more important than ever to maintain consistent cancer screenings. While many people only get screened when they begin showing symptoms of cancer, consistent screenings are recommended for individuals after a certain age. Doctors recommend screenings in order to detect cancers that may not be showing any symptoms. By following the recommended guidelines by age, doctors are able to detect cancers at earlier stages, increasing the probability for success. Below are the different forms of cancer that anyone over the age of 50 should get screened by their primary doctors:
Known as the most common cancer in men, prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, which is the small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is typically a slow growing cancer, and is considered very treatable if caught in its early stages. If it is not caught until its later stages, the five-year survival rate decreases significantly from 99 percent to 29 percent, reaffirming the significance of consistent screenings.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, and is known as the second cause of cancer death in women across the United States. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age, so it is recommended that women begin to get mammograms as recommended by their doctor once they turn 50. When caught early, the five-year survival rate in nearly 100 percent, but if it is caught in the later stages, the five-year survival rate drops to approximately 22 percent. You can talk to your doctor about different ways to do a self-exam at home as well.
Cervical cancer is a cancer that begins in the uterine cervix. Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by different trains of the human papillomavirus, or also known as HPV. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that typically resolves on its own. In the cases where the infection continues to grow, the cells in the cervix can become abnormal and multiply, leading to cervical cancer. Doctors recommend consistent screenings after 50 to ensure that cervical cancer has not developed.
Men & Women
Colon cancer is a cancer of the large intestine, where the body extracts water and salt from solid waste in the body. It is the third most common cancer in men and women, and becomes much more prominent after a person turns 50, with nearly 90 percent of Americans receiving a colon cancer diagnosis after turning 50. Colon cancer is a relatively slow growing form of cancer, so consistent screenings can improve a patient’s chance of survival following a colon cancer diagnosis.
Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in both men and women worldwide. The risk of developing lung cancer is greatly increased with smokers or former smokers. For those who are either a current smoker, or a former smoker who has quit in the last 15 years, your doctor may recommend screening for early signs of lung cancer. When lung cancer is caught in the more advanced stages, there is only a 4 percent five-year survival rate, indicating the significance of discussing screenings with your doctor.
While these are the most common types of cancer that doctors recommend screening for after turning 50, a person’s lifestyle, medical history, and genetic makeup can affect the recommendations by their primary doctors.