While cancer awareness month isn’t until October, it’s always good to be up-to-speed on how cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options continue to save lives every single day of the year. Innovative technology and improved diagnostic techniques have helped doctors and patients make great advances on the cancer battlefront.
What Patients Can Do
The most important part of early cancer detection involves patients being proactive.
That’s because early diagnosis depends on self-awareness. It begins with knowing what is normal and healthy for your body and knowing what signs and symptoms to look for.
Many cancer symptoms may be indicative of many different conditions, not just cancer. So, perhaps the best place to start is to ask your doctor about the risk factors you may have for cancer. For example, do you have a family history of particular types of cancer? Are there lifestyle choices or environmental concerns you have that include an increased risk for cancer? Then, once you’re armed with that information, you can learn more about which particular signs or symptoms you should be keeping a lookout for.
Patient involvement makes a difference. Studies have shown that patients who act as advocates in their own care have better outcomes.
In the case of potentially deadly diseases like cancer, early detection is crucial. Spotting and treating cancer in its earliest stages can offer the best possible chance of surviving the disease. On top of this, when treatment is begun earlier, it is often easier to tolerate and isn’t as debilitating on a patient’s quality of life.
Research Matters, Too
Research plays an important role as well. To detect and treat cancers at their earliest stages, doctors need to better understand the early stages of cancer growth and experiment with unconventional ways to treat it. There are more ways to detect cancer today than there ever has been – and developments in this arena continue. To continue to make progress in the fight against cancer involves making sure more patients are diagnosed early.
Better information, patient awareness, and access to quality health care all play a role in identifying the presence of cancer as early as possible.
If you think you may have cancer, it is important to get it checked out immediately, and don’t wait! Early detection will give you a better treatment outcome and possibly save your life.
To learn more about how early detection can save your life, call the radiologists at Independent Imaging at (561) 795-5558. If you need transportation arrangements or a same-day appointment, we can be of assistance. You may also use our online appointment request form. Get tested, it can save your life!