Cancer screening is a way in which doctors check you for some types of cancers before you have any symptoms. Screening also involves looking for areas that can turn into cancer, or “pre-cancers.” The goal of cancer screening is to find pre-cancers and cancers as early as possible, so you can get treatment and have the best possible outcome. Cancer that is found early often is small and can sometimes be cured or treated easily. Treating certain cancers early can help people live longer. Sometimes, screening finds cells that do not yet show cancer, but that might turn into cancer cells. Doctors often treat this pre-cancer before it has a chance to become cancer.

Some of the types of cancer for which screening tests are available are:

Colon cancer:

There are multiple kinds of screening tests for colon cancer. The choice of which test to have is up to you and your doctor. Doctors recommend that most people begin having colon cancer screening at around age 50. Some people have an increased chance of getting colon cancer, because of a strong family history or certain medical conditions. These people might begin screening at a younger age.
The screening for colorectal cancer depends on your risk of colon cancer and which test you have. People who have a high risk of colon cancer often need to be tested more often and should have a colonoscopy.

Most people are not at high risk, so they can choose one of these schedules:
Colonoscopy every 10 years
CT colonography (CTC) every 5 years
Stool testing for blood once a year
Sigmoidoscopy every 5 to 10 years
Stool DNA testing every 3 years (but doctors are not yet sure of the best time frame for repeating the test)

Breast cancer:

The goal of breast cancer screening is to find cancer early, before it has a chance to grow, spread, or cause problems. Studies show that being screened for breast cancer lowers your chance of dying from the disease. The main test used to screen for breast cancer is called a “mammogram.” Most people start around age 40 or 50. People who have a strong family history of breast cancer might begin screening earlier.

Cervical cancer :

There are several ways to have cervical cancer screening, but one of the most common tests is called a “Pap smear” or “Pap test.” For people with a cervix, screening with a Pap test often begins at age 21, although in some cases, screening begins at age 25. Doctors might add or switch to another screening test, called an “HPV test”, after age 30. People who are older than 65 might or might not need to continue cervical cancer screening. If you are older than 65, talk with your doctor about whether or not you should keep getting screened.

Prostate cancer:

The main test used to screen for prostate cancer is called a “PSA test.” It is unclear whether getting screened for prostate cancer can extend a person’s life or help them feel better. For this reason, most experts recommend that everyone with a prostate work with their doctor to decide whether screening is right for them. In most cases, people should start discussing prostate cancer screening around the age of 50. For some people, prostate cancer screening can begin around the age of 40 if they are at higher risk.

Lung cancer:

The main test used to screen for lung cancer is an imaging test called a “low dose CT scan.” For people at increased risk of lung cancer, screening can reduce your chance of dying from lung cancer. If you are 50 to 80 years old, and smoke cigarettes or used to smoke cigarettes, ask your doctor if you should be screened for lung cancer. The best way to reduce your chance of getting or dying from lung cancer is to stop smoking.

Ovarian cancer:

To screen for ovarian cancer, doctors can do a blood test, an imaging test called an ultrasound, or both. But these tests do not always find early ovarian cancer. Most people do not need ovarian cancer screening. Still, the tests are sometimes used in people with a family history of ovarian or breast cancer. For them, screening might begin at age 30 to 35. Screening is not recommended for people who do not have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer.

World Cancer Day - February 4

Cancer ranks as the second leading cause of death globally and in our country. When looking at the causes of death, it is observed that approximately one in every six deaths worldwide and one in every five deaths in our country is attributed to cancer. The main risk factors for cancer include tobacco use, high body mass index (being overweight or obese), a diet poor in fruits and vegetables, inadequate physical activity, and alcohol consumption. However, it is known that about one-third of cancers can be prevented in today's conditions through avoiding risk factors and implementing evidence-based prevention strategies.

Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that the chances of recovery are high for many cancers if diagnosed early and treated appropriately. World Cancer Day aims to prevent millions of avoidable deaths each year by increasing awareness and education about cancer and urging governments and individuals worldwide to take action against the disease.

World Cancer Day is a campaign that strives not only to raise awareness and bring about change but also to initiate sustained action in the following days. It aims to resonate, overcome resistance to change, and go beyond being just an awareness day, fostering ongoing efforts in the fight against cancer.