Baton Rouge General encourages cancer screenings for early detection

Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City
Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City(WAFB)
Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 4:11 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Baton Rouge General says making healthy choices and being screened for cancer are keys to good health and could help reduce your risk of developing cancer and other illnesses.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in the US. The largest risk factor for developing lung cancer is smoking. If you have a significant smoking history, even if you quit smoking within the past 15 years, you should talk with your doctor about getting a lung cancer screening. A lung screening is a low-dose CT scan that can find tiny nodules that would otherwise go undetected, long before a patient has any symptoms of lung cancer. The goal is to detect lung cancer at a very early stage - when it’s more likely to be cured.

You may have heard the sobering statistic that women in the U.S. have a 1-in-8 risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. And you may have also heard a lot about family history of breast cancer. But what many women don’t realize is that 80-85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history. So the takeaway here is that every woman, family history or not, should be paying attention and taking all the right preventative steps like self-exams and mammograms. Now, if you are at a higher risk of breast cancer, meaning you have a family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about beginning annual mammograms even earlier. In general that means starting mammograms 10 years earlier than the age the family member was at diagnosis (may want to add another nugget about this).

Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among people under 50 in the United States. But it’s one of the most preventable if found early. There’s mounting evidence that inactivity and an unhealthy diet high in processed meat and fat could be linked to early-onset colorectal cancer. It’s important to know your family history of colon cancer, and to also know the symptoms. Many people chalk up issues like constipation or changes in their bowel movements as something else, especially if they are otherwise healthy. The recommended screening is a colonoscopy, and the age is now 45 instead of 50. Be sure to talk to your doctor about scheduling yours.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and it can affect anyone, regardless of skin color. Your best protection is to wear SPF 30 or higher sunscreen daily, seek shade, and wear protective clothing. This helps protect the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which can increase the risk of skin cancer.

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