Cancer screening is a test to detect cancer before its symptoms appear.
Every country has a research institute or a task force of experts that sets and publishes a guideline on cancer screening. It would specify who might be eligible for screening, what kind of tests they should go through, and how often. This often serves as a basis for coverage by medical insurance, whether private or public.
Why would every country keep a cancer screening guideline?
Of course, that’s because an early diagnosis is the most basic and the most certain way to beat cancer.
You may be wondering what tests are involved in screening.
The basic imaging methods to screen lung cancer and breast cancer are the chest X-ray and the mammography. Using radiation images, these tests help doctors examine for signs of cancer.
If those tests show possible indications of cancer, further tests such as CT, ultrasound or MRI are conducted. Thereafter, a doctor removes a sample of the suspicious tissue through biopsy and further examines the changes in cell shapes to make the final diagnosis.
The images are usually analyzed by a radiologist, and the analysis result is then given to the clinician who diagnoses the patient and plans the treatment.