Prevention is key to cancer treatment – Don't delay screenings

February 4, 2022 Providence Cancer Team


In this article:

  • Early and regular cancer screenings save lives and improve treatment outcomes.

  • Don’t delay life-saving cancer screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • There are a variety of screening options, based on cancer type.

Being proactive about our health is important throughout the year, but National Cancer Prevention Awareness Month is a great opportunity to pause and consider what screenings you might be due for. Delaying life-saving screenings due to the pandemic might feel like a good choice, but it could result in a delay of life-saving care. At Providence, we have a rigorous safety regimen to ensure your safety and well-being for all appointments and screenings. And, with advances in technology that promise greater accuracy and less invasive procedures, there’s no reason to delay.

Cervical cancer 

The positive news is that cervical cancer is nearly always preventable with timely screenings and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The American Cancer Society recommends an HPV test every five years, while the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services suggests a Pap smear every three years.

Read more.

Colon cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, if colon cancer is found earlier, the chances of survival are upwards of 90%. A colonoscopy is the most common form of colon cancer screening, although a few other screening options, including stool testing, exist for those who may feel uncomfortable undergoing the procedure. Other lifestyle choices, such as a healthy diet and quitting smoking, help decrease the risk of colon cancer.

Read more.

Lung cancer

Unfortunately, lung cancer often goes undetected before it’s in a very advanced stage. Doctors recommend regular lung cancer screenings using a simple computerized tomography (CT) scan for people over 50 who have a history of smoking. With advances in screening technology, doctors can see the lungs before deciding if a biopsy is necessary.

Read more.

Breast cancer

The most common breast cancer screening option is a mammogram, which the American Cancer Society recommends starting annually between age 40 and 44. Recent advances in genetic testing have also offered incredible insight into patients’ medical histories and how likely they are to develop breast cancer. Doctors have far more insight into various types of breast cancer, and more importantly, how to successfully treat patients.

Read more.

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is another type of cancer that is hard to detect at first. Yet, early detection leads to a much greater survival rate. The type of screening you get depends on if you are at high risk for ovarian cancer or not, so keep up with your regular annual exams.

Read more.


Find a doctor

If you want to learn more about proactive health screenings, you can find a Providence primary care provider using our provider directory.

Related resources

How your genes affect your cancer risk

How genetic testing saved my life

Don’t delay life-saving cancer screenings

Finding the strength to seek care during the pandemic

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

About the Author

The Providence Cancer Team is committed to bringing you the most up-to-date insights about treatments, prevention, care and support available. We know cancer diagnoses strain you both mentally and physically, and we hope to provide a small piece of hope to you or your loved ones who are fighting the cancer battle with useful and clinically-backed advice.

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