Step 3: Screening & Testing

cancer screening and testing schedule and appointmentScreenings and testings are an integral part of early cancer detection. Your doctor will recommend a frequency schedule for you based on your risk factors and family history. (5) It is your responsibility to schedule timely doctor visits, screenings, and visual tests.

 Click the button below to download a chart to track your various scheduled appointments.

Screening & Testing Scheduling

Screening  (Imaging) Tests: (7, 76)

Screening tests are either done by an imaging process or visually conducted by a specialized professional. These tests are typically set up on a regular basis with your medical team and are typically noninvasive and vary by age, family history, and environment. Cancer screenings aim to detect cancer before symptoms appear. Screening tests results are not 100% foolproof. If signs of cancer are detected, more definition and invasive follow-up tests may be required.

Visual Tests:

Visual tests are typically done by your medical specialist during routine scheduled visits. They are non-invasive, and  normally done by looking at your general appearance, touching and questioning you. Sometimes special tools or medical devices are used.

Laboratory Tests: (77, 76)

Laboratory tests can help the early detection of cancer or confirm its presence. Most laboratory tests take place in medical facilities. Many laboratory tests are done routinely during annual physical exams to detect any abnormalities. Laboratory tests are also ordered by your medical team when certain signs are detected or symptoms occur.

cancer screening and testing

Diagnostic Testing: (77, 76)

Diagnostic tests are typically done as a follow up to abnormal conditions found during screening or routine laboratory tests. The results help the medical team to diagnose and confirm the presence or absence of a specific disease. Diagnostic testing procedures depend on the type of test being performed.

Genetic Testing: (78)

Genetic Tests help estimate chances of contracting cancer in your lifetime by searching for specific changes in mutations. (your genes, your chromosomes, or proteins) (79)

Genetic Testing is most frequently used to determine if you have inherited genes that can pass cancer from parent to child. It may also help to estimate your chances of developing cancer in your lifetime. The test is generally not done until your primary doctor has discussed testing with you and you have consulted with a genetic specialist.

Genetic Testing

Home Testing Kits:    

At present time there are few home test kits available to help the early detection of cancer. However, there are many new kits in the research and development stages. It is expected that additional suppliers and kits will become available. Test kits should be used as directed by your medical team.

Proceed to Step 4 in the Spotting Cancer Program:  

Establish Your Medical Team

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