Thanks to early detection provided through routine cancer screenings, the incidence of breast cancer has declined since 2000, and fewer women are dying from the disease. For your routine cancer screenings, contact Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association, PC, with locations in Memphis, Germantown, and Bartlett, Tennessee, as well as Southaven, Mississippi. Appointments can be made by calling our office or scheduling online.
Screening searches your body for signs of cancer or conditions that indicate cancer may be forming. In many cases, there are precancerous changes that, if caught before cancer fully begins, provides a chance for you to receive treatment before cancerous forms of the condition can start. These treatments are typically more conservative and with less impact on your other body systems than full-scale cancer treatments that could include radiation and chemotherapy.
Breast cancer screening usually begins in a woman’s forties, and may be recommended even sooner based on your medical and family history. MOGA offers both traditional mammographies as well as tomosynthesis, a form of 3D imaging that produces fewer abnormal results that require retesting.
Endometrial cancer may affect postmenopausal women, so any spotting, bleeding, or vaginal discharge should be investigated with your MOGA physician. Women at high risk may require annual checks.
Colon cancer screening begins at age 50, to detect intestinal polyps, which may become cancerous. Testing for colon cancer may start sooner if you have increased risk of the condition, such as through family history.
Cervical cancer screening should start around the age of 21. This is performed by way of a Pap test, and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing is periodically recommended alongside the Pap test. The intervals between tests depend on your age and risk factors.
Tests for other cancers, such as skin or lung cancer, are also recommended if you’re at risk, such as from frequent sun exposure or if you’re a smoker or ex-smoker.
Some cancers, such as ovarian cancer, may be predicted with genetic testing, which can identify inherited genetic mutations. These don’t, in themselves, mean you will develop cancer, but it may indicate you’re at an increased risk. This permits you and your doctor to more closely monitor for early signs of cancer.
If you believe you have an elevated risk for any cancer, discuss this with your MOGA physician. Many cancer screenings have little risk of side effect.