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Early detection can lead to better outcomes for many patients
Research shows that there are lifestyle changes we can make to reduce our risk of getting certain cancers. These include quitting smoking, avoiding too much sun and eating a healthy, balanced diet. But there are other risk factors for cancer, such as age, family history and genetics, that we can’t control. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you will go on to develop the disease (in fact, most people with these risk factors don’t), it is important to do what you can to protect yourself. This includes avoiding anything that may increase risk and attending regular check-ups.
Routine cancer screening, the process of checking for cancer when no symptoms are present, is a proactive step towards protecting yourself and can mean that if cancer does develop, it is likely to be detected at an early stage. As a result, any treatment that is given is more likely to be effective, and the need for surgery or other interventions could be reduced.
Dr.Stephen Grobmyer, Institute Chair within the Oncology Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi says ‘When it comes to successful cancer treatment, for many types of cancer, early detection is key. There are lots of screening options available which allow cancer to be detected, often long before any side effects are noticed. Cancer is much easier to treat in the early stages and by catching it early, patients increase their chance of making a full recovery.”
He adds “When it comes to the importance of early cancer screening, you only need to look at the numbers to see just how crucial early detection is. If identified early, over 90% of people with some types of bowel, breast and ovarian cancer will survive for at least 5 years compared to those identified at later stages”.
If you are over the age of 40, it is recommended you attend regular screening for the most common types of cancer. If your doctor feels that you are at risk of a certain cancer, due to family history or genetics, you may need to follow a different screening schedule, such as starting at an earlier age or being screened more often.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi offers a comprehensive screening program for many types of cancer. The methods used are called screening tests and are a major step towards cancer prevention. All tests at the hospital are carried out within a discrete, patient-focused environment. The tests, performed by cancer specialists with dedicated training and experience in advanced diagnostic procedures, include:
Dr. Grobmyer adds “For certain types of cancer, many patients do not notice any symptoms. For this reason, screening is an essential step in early detection. Talk to your cancer doctor about a recommended screening program. For anyone with symptoms that could be related to cancer, always see a doctor immediately.”