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Importance of Cancer Screening

July, 2022 - Last update: January, 2024

Cancer screening is an important practice to have, especially if you are at a higher risk. Some high risk factors include family history, aging, tobacco, sun exposure, radiation exposure, alcohol use, chronic inflammation, certain viruses, poor diet, and being overweight. Cancer screening may be scary, but it is important to know sooner, rather than later, if there is a tumour in your body. Screening may help you find cancer at an earlier stage if present, thus decreasing the chance of cancer-caused death and morbidity. Treatment can be started before symptoms arise. 

Types of Cancer Screening

There are many different ways to screen for cancer. Some are specific to the type of cancer, such as for breast cancer, mammography is used to detect tumours. HPV (Human papillomavirus) tests and Pap tests are used to screen for cervical cancer. 

There are many types of screening tests. A physical exam can help determine overall health of your body and see if there are any abnormalities. Laboratory tests include blood, urine and hormone tests to screen for cancer. Genetic tests can also be done; this involves the analysis of cells to look for mutations in the DNA. This will screen for specific diseases. 

Cross-sectional imaging is also commonly used to screen for cancer. MRI, CT, and ultrasounds are common imaging exams that can be used to screen for various cancers. 

Whole Body MRI and Cancer Screening

A full body MRI scan is an effective way to screen for certain cancers, among many other diseases. With Whole Body MRI, you can scan for the presence of tumours of certain sizes from your head through to your knees.  The scan may also be able to detect inflammatory conditions, vessel abnormalities, spinal issues, and large joint problems. 

MRI Screening allows for the detection of cancer before symptom onset. An early diagnosis can be made and treatment planning initiated. 

Bottom Line

In order to be proactive about cancer, it is important to start screening early- before it is too late. By detecting cancer early you can start treatment earlier and reduce the risk of cancer-related mortality and morbidity. 

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