Cancer - The Importance of Early Detection
A regular cancer check-up may do more than provide you with reassurance of good health, it may save your life!
On a global scale, by 2030 there will be 21.7 million new cases of cancer and 13 million cancer-related deaths. This health burden is likely to increase if we fail to make the necessary changes: Preventive measures like avoiding various lifestyle choices (smoking and alcohol, for example) and environmental risk factors may reduce the incidence of cancer. As we age we have an even higher risk of developing cancer, although cancer is not limited to a particular age it could also be inherited.
The Importance of Early Detection
Great effort and expenditure in research have been implemented in finding cures for various diseases, namely cancer. Cancer is multifaceted and extremely complex in nature with various strains. Thus rather than placing large focus on curing cancer, worldwide scientists have invested in preventive medicine, as well as trying to better understand its pathology. In most cases, we can significantly lower the rate of cancer incidence by controlling the risk factors and minimizing their effect, as well as undergoing screening and detecting cancer in its early stages.
The majority of malignant tumors can be treated successfully if detected early. A metastatic tumor (a tumor that has spread to other areas of the body from its primary location), is far more complex to treat and has a poor prognosis. Timely diagnosis of non-invasive cancer types makes it possible to limit the treatment to a relatively small procedure, thereby preserving the affected organ and preventing side effects of systemic treatment. For example, screening for colorectal and cervical cancer and removing any premalignant lesions that appear will most likely prevent these cancers from occurring, as well as careful monitoring of any benign (non-cancerous) mass or particular health conditions.
At Herzliya Medical Center (HMC) we document a patient’s full family history (for related high risk factors that may have been inherited) and perform cancer screening. Screening can rule out or detect any malignancies.
Screening includes a number of laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures that can detect even an asymptomatic (no obvious symptoms) tumor at its early stages. Screening tests are routinely used in the developed world and for those in a high risk population, various screening methods can be deployed depending on the suspected cancer type.
Our modern technologies, research and new treatment options have also greatly improved survival rates. Over the 30-year history at HMC, there was not a single case of misdiagnosis.
At HMC we offer all of the services below (and more) conveniently under one roof:
These are carried out on a regular basis for women from the age of 40 to 74, or earlier if a lump is detected in the breast. Mammography substantially reduces the probability of detecting cancer at late and inoperable stages. All women should check their breasts regularly for any unusual changes.
Papanicolaou (Pap) test and pelvic exam
Routine gynecological follow-up and screening diagnosis of cervical cancer are recommended for women 21 to 65 years old every 3 years. Women between 30 to 65 years old, should have a pap and HPV test every 5 years.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer; this test can identify if you have the mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and evaluate the best course of action. Women that have a mutation of BRCA 1 gene, for example, have an 80% risk of getting breast cancer and 50% risk ovarian cancer.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing
Men over the age of 50 and those at risk of developing prostate cancer should get a (PSA) test with a digital rectal examination (DRE)
In developed countries, the three most commonly diagnosed cancers were prostate, lung, and colorectal among men, and breast, colorectal, and lung among women.
Lung cancer - Low radiation computerized tomography is recommended for patients, usually heavy smokers over 55 years of age that are at high risk.
Survival statistics focus on the tumor stage and its histological type. In lung cancer for example, a 5-year survival was approximately 38% in patients newly diagnosed with Stage I small-cell lung carcinoma, while a 5-year survival was 73% in patients newly diagnosed with Stage I non-small-cell lung carcinoma. However, if the tumor is newly diagnosed at the stage of invasive growth and metastases, it reduces survival to 1% in the case of small-cell lung carcinoma and to 9% in case of non-small-cell lung carcinoma – these findings emphasize the importance of early screening.
Colorectal cancer - Fecal occult blood test, colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy is performed.
Skin cancer – self-check moles regularly for any unusual changes and consult a specialist if so, or if you are at high risk, fair-skinned or a have a family history.
We at HMC provide our patients with immediate treatment, especially if a malignancy is detected. Our exceptional oncology specialists at Herzliya Medical Center, have at least 20 years of impeccable experience.
For now, the only cure for cancer is early detection.