One of the biggest weapons against cancer is early detection. Being proactive about cancer screening tests can dramatically improve your chances of beating the disease. That is why the American Cancer Society has worked to develop cancer screening guidelines for the most common types of cancer. Simply by referring to their guidelines, you can know when and how often you should be screened.
Age is one important factor in determining when you should start scheduling regular screenings. The older we get, the more susceptible we are to cancer. For example, women in their 20s should do a self-breast examine to detect any abnormalities, but experts recommend that women over 40 get a yearly mammogram.
The frequency of screenings also depends on your risk factors. If you have a history of certain types of cancer in your family, then you may want to consult with your doctor about a personalized approach to screening. Lifestyle choices can also increase your risk factors and make more frequent testing advisable. Typically, lung cancer screenings are only performed on those patients with clear symptoms, smokers and high risk patients.
The good news is that most screening tests are not painful or invasive. In most cases a blood test or some form of x-ray will be enough to alert doctors to any abnormalities that should be further investigated.
At Issels®, a premier center for immuno-oncology, we take a comprehensive approach to cancer treatment, which includes early detection. If you still aren’t sure when you should begin screening or you have more questions about certain risk factors, ask your personal physician for help.
Cancer is a tough disease. The treatment options can often cause their own set of problems. This is especially true when it comes to chemotherapy. At Issels®, a center for immuno-oncology, doctors sometimes see patients develop myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Essentially, chemotherapy can expose patients to high doses of harmful chemicals that then cause further cell mutations, creating a sort of slippery slope that can be hard to climb back up.
Despite the inherent dangers of undergoing chemotherapy, it is still a popular and to a certain degree an effective treatment. The key is to understand the risks and fully discuss your options with your doctor. If you are undergoing cancer treatment and you feel like your doctor is simply telling you what the next step is, without consulting you about quality of life consequences, then you may want to seek out a second opinion from another oncologist or a whole other perspective about non-toxic treatment options from the experts at Issels®.
Through years of research and clinical experience treating patients, we have discovered that a comprehensive approach to treatment that takes into consideration the individual patient’s specific situation and his/her own input is by far the best way to fight against cancer and minimize the side effects of treatment. Short term chemotherapy can be life-saving in the case of aggressively growing tumors that endanger a vital organ, but long-term chemotherapy inevitably damages the bone marrow and suppresses the immune system. To achieve long-term remission we need to restore your body’s own healing power. A non-toxic strategy that includes boosting your immune system, so that treatment is as effective as possible, is one of our hallmarks. Combining our expertise in immuno-oncology with non-toxic treatments may also help reduce your chances of developing other complications and second cancers.