According to the Singapore Cancer Society, 41 people on average get diagnosed with cancer each passing day, while 15 people pass away from the disease at the same rate1. Among the many types of cancers, a few rank as the most common ones in Singapore, namely: lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. While getting diagnosed with cancer is never good news for anyone, hearing it from your doctor while it’s still in the early stages is. The goal of cancer-focused health screenings is thus to detect cancer well before it develops and causes dire symptoms, including the risk of death. Getting regular cancer-focused health screenings is highly recommended in conjunction with general health screenings. Despite not solely focusing on cancer, the latter is still capable of identifying abnormal tissues or pre-cancerous cells even before there are symptoms, or even when symptoms aren’t as obvious (e.g. cough, dizziness, chest pain). Here are three key benefits highlighting the importance of Cancer-Focused Health Screenings.
Lower morbidity rate Unfortunately, cancers can be fatal if they go unnoticed and are allowed to progress into later stages. However, just like any disease, prevention is far better than a cure. This statement rings truer than ever when talking about cancer, in which many are preventable and even curable with effective and prompt treatment in the earlier stages. For instance, lung cancer is a disease typically discovered only when it has already progressed to its later stages, at which point treatment can only do as much as control and manage the symptoms of the patient. However, if detected and treated early with lung cancer treatment overseen by a lung cancer specialist, patients can expect a cure rate of nearly 80%-90%2. Breast cancer is another common cancer that with early detection and treatment, and in the localised stage, can result in a very high 5-year relative survival rate of over 99%3. Improved quality of life Living a life with cancer is not easy. Due to the symptoms caused by the disease, patients often experience a lower quality of life and may no longer be able to enjoy the things they once loved as their symptoms worsen. However, if detected early, patients can get the treatment they need sooner and increase the chances of them living a normal life cancer-free. For example, the 5-year relative survival rate for lung cancers that have not been detected early and has progressed into the later stages is as small as 7%. On the other hand, those that were found out earlier have a much higher 5-year relative survival rate of 63%4. Moreover, cancer screening tests don’t just detect cancer cells while they’re still at their early stages; they can also identify pre-cancerous lesions that can mean preventing cancer altogether when removed as soon as possible. Easier treatment experience Every medicinal drug comes with potential side effects, no matter if it’s for the common cold or something more serious. In cancer treatment, the side effects experienced from treatment and medications are far more prevalent and significant. The treatments implemented during the earlier stages are typically less aggressive and invasive than advanced stages, which translates to an easier time for patients. Conclusion When it comes to cancer, don’t wait until symptoms arise before acting, especially if you are at a high of developing the disease or have a family history of cancer. The sooner these cancer cells are found, the greater the chances of eliminating them for good. At ICS, we know how life-threatening cancer can be and the importance of cancer screening tests in helping people be at ease and live their life to the fullest. Especially for those who have reached a certain age, taking cancer-focused health screenings once every one or two years is highly recommended. If you’re interested in getting a cancer-focused health screening, we offer a range of cancer screening packages that can be customised to suit your needs. If you’re unsure how frequently you should get checked for cancers, feel free to contact us anytime and we’ll be glad to help.
References 1. Common Types of Cancer in Singapore. (2018). Retrieved 11 August 2021, from https://www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg/learn-about-cancer/cancer-basics/common-types-of-cancer-in-singapore.html 2. Just Diagnosed With Lung Cancer: Answers from an Expert. (2018). Retrieved 11 August 2021, from https://www.cancer.net/blog/2018-06/just-diagnosed-with-lung-cancer-answers-expert 3. Survival Rates for Breast Cancer. (2021). Retrieved 11 August 2021, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/understanding-a-breast-cancer-diagnosis/breast-cancer-survival-rates.html 4. Lung Cancer Survival Rates | 5-Year Survival Rates for Lung Cancer. (2021). Retrieved 11 August 2021, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/survival-rates.html