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Cancer Screening:

The usual cancer screening programs are fairly well known. 

The "PAP Smear" has been used for may years for the early detection of cervical cancer. Combining the "PAP Smear" idea with a surgical microscope has refined the sampling of the cells of the cervix and added precision to the early testing. This is referred to as Culposcopy.

Breast Cancer screening has evolved over the last several years into a program of self examination, expert examination, and Mammography. For high risk families DNA sequencing and genetic testing are becoming more available.

Prostate Cancer screening involves an annual rectal examination by an expert and a blood test for PSA in men over 50 years.

Lung Cancer screening is focused on high risk groups, namely heavy smokers. Most Physicians have a high index of suspicion in this group and are inclined to order chest x-rays sooner rather than later. CT scan screening of high risk groups to this point is not routinely done.

Leukemias and hematological malignancies can be screened on annual blood tests ( Hematology panel ).

Bladder Cancer investigation can be initiated by the finding of blood in routine annual urine tests. Regular cystoscopic examinations are then booked to follow the course of this disease.

Rectal/ Colon Cancer screening requires an annual rectal examination and thorough investigation of any hidden blood (occult) or frank rectal bleeding. Especially patients over 40 years or with a strong family history of colon cancer should have aggressive testing of positive rectal bleeding. This should include proctoscopy to identify and treat hemorrhoids, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and barium enema. See the Patient Guide for colon cancer.

Cancer Genes: There are exciting new areas in Genetics that offer opportunities to focus investigation and treatment for families at risk of hereditary "cancer ". More details are available via the BCCA Hereditary Cancer Program.

 

 

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