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Blog / Cancer, Early Detection, Health and Wellness, Lifestyle

Why Should Physicians Screen Patients for Cancer?

Jul. 24 2020 by Emily Jacobs
Why Should Physicians Screen Patients for Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, one in three Americans will develop some form of cancer during their lives. Most cancers do not show symptoms during the early stages. 

When cancer is found in the early stages, it is more likely to be treated successfully. This can improve a patient’s quality of life and increase their chance of survival. 

For example, the 5-year survival rate for early stage breast cancer is 99 percent. If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, however, that rate drops to 27 percent.

Cancers that are found early tend to have more treatment options, and may require less drastic treatment. Many early-stage tumors can be completely removed with surgery. If the cancer has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body, however, there may be fewer treatments available.

Early cancer detection is difficult, but possible

The symptoms of cancer may be deceptive, minimal, or nonexistent, especially in the early stages. As a result, many individuals may not realize they have cancer until it is too late.

Early cancers may have symptoms so mild that a patient can ignore them, or assume they will go away. For example, early-stage bladder cancer may resemble a urinary tract infection. A cough that is caused by lung cancer may be incorrectly blamed on a cold or allergies.

This is why it is important to catch cancer early with regular screenings that check your body for cancer before you notice any symptoms. Screening tests can detect a variety of breast, cervical, colorectal (colon), kidney, liver, and other types of cancers early. Regular screenings are usually recommended for people at risk of certain types of cancer.

MRI screening for cancer

Regular, proactive cancer screenings can give individuals an advantage over cancer. One of the best options for cancer screening is with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. This type of scan does not use harmful radiation, so it is safe to use for regular, repeated screening.

Cancer can affect multiple parts of the body, or different areas of an organ, at the same time. Full-body MRI scans can check multiple areas for more comprehensive cancer detection. 

The highly detailed results of an MRI scan can identify even asymptomatic tissue damage and cancer growth. MRI results can also be used to confirm the findings of other imaging tests, such as ultrasound and CT.

A full-body MRI scan can give you peace of mind if you are at elevated risk for certain types of cancer. You can take control of your own health by deciding when and where you receive a scan without waiting for a doctor to order one for you. Afterwards, you can review your results with your provider and decide on a treatment plan, if necessary.

MRI scans do not require special preparation, and have no downtime. You can go back to your normal activities immediately after your scan.

Ezra is on a mission to bring early cancer detection to everyone. We use artificial intelligence and advanced medical imaging technology to detect up to 13 cancers in women and 11 in men. The process is fast, accurate, safe, and pain-free, so you can return to work, school, or play right away. Get started now to take proactive steps for your health and gain peace of mind.