Did you know that one in four people may develop cancer in their lifetime? While this sounds alarming, keeping up with your cancer screening is one of the best ways to detect it early and prevent it from progressing.
Going for regular cancer screening is crucial if you have a family history of cancer and especially since the condition does not always present symptoms in its early stages. Early detection and treatment can also increase one’s survival rate – for instance, the 5-year survival rate of breast cancer is 90% if it is detected and treated in its first stage.
Additionally, the most prevalent cancers affecting Singaporeans are colorectal and breast cancer which can be detected during a full health screening.
Keep reading to find out the importance of keeping up with your cancer screenings in Singapore.
The Benefits of Going for Regular Cancer Screenings
Not only will your chances of getting cured be higher, but you will also be presented with more treatment options when the cancer is still in its early stages.
Fewer costs incurred on treatments
Cancers in their early stages also require less intensive intervention and fewer treatment sessions, which is why the costs incurred will usually be lower.
Peace of mind
That being said, going for a cancer screening will also provide you with greater peace of mind if all is well and nothing of concern has been found.
Get your health back on track
Do not let cancer go undetected until it is too late – early detection empowers you to get your health back on track as soon as possible so you can continue living life to the fullest.
Maintain good health
Going for a health screening, or specifically cancer screening, tells you your risk levels so you can start taking steps to better your health. Maintaining good health is like getting insurance – you are not just doing it for yourself, but also for your loved ones.
Common Cancer Screenings You Need to Make an Appointment for
A mammogram screening is currently the best way to detect breast cancer, even before symptoms appear. It is recommended to go for a mammogram screening once a year from age 40 to 49, and once every two years from age 50 and above.
Learn more: How Mammogram Screening for Breast Cancer Saves Lives
It is usually done in conjunction with a mammogram screening if deemed necessary, to determine if a lump or cyst found is filled with fluid or a solid tumour.
Used to screen for cervical cancer, a pap smear involves removing cells from the surface of the cervix to check for abnormalities. It is a common test included in many health screenings in Singapore and is recommended for women above 25 years old who have ever had sex.
There are two main methods to perform a pelvis ultrasound – transabdominal scan (TA) and transvaginal scan (TV). The former is used to examine the organs in the abdomen while the latter is used to examine the female reproductive organs.
Faecal occult blood test (FOBT)
FOBT is used to check stool samples and if blood is found, may indicate colon cancer or polyps in the colon or rectum. However, it is important to note that not all cancers or polyps bleed. The test is done once a year.
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test
The PSA test measures the level of protein and malignant cells in the prostate gland through a blood test. People with prostate cancer often have elevated PSA levels. Screening should be done yearly or every two years depending on each individual’s PSA level.
A prostate ultrasound is used to check the size, location and shape of the prostate gland to detect signs of cancer. It is usually the next step if a raised PSA level was found.
Book a Cancer Screening in Singapore
All health screenings under Thomson Medical’s Wellness Checkup provide ultrasound scans that can detect certain cancers. Alternatively, consider going for the Platinum Prestige Screenings that include CT and MRI scans, on top of ultrasound scans, which can help to detect and monitor cancer presence more accurately. The Platinum Prestige Screenings also screen for heart attack and stroke risk, offering you greater assurance.