Cancer happens when abnormal cells in your body grow and divide. These cells continue to grow and join together to make a larger clump called a tumor, which can grow and damage the normal cells around it and can spread to other parts of the body. Cancer screening tests check if there’s a very small amount of cancer in your body, so it’s best to do them on a regular basis while you’re feeling normal.
Cancer is best treated if caught in the early stages. Patients who are enrolled with our physicians have the benefit of being part of our cancer preventive care services. In Ontario, there are screening tests for three types of cancer: colorectal cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer. OakMed Family Health Team follows Cancer Care Ontario Guidelines for cancer screening. Contact the OakMed Health Team if you require one of the following:
The Papanicolaou test (abbreviated as Pap test) is a method of cervical screening used to detect potentially pre-cancerous and cancerous processes in the cervix (opening of the uterus or womb). Having regular tests is the way to make sure that abnormal cervical changes (cervical dysplasia) are detected early. It is recommended that women aged 21 to 70 year of age have a Pap screening every 3 years. If you have had an abnormal pap, discuss with your physician the timing of a repeat Pap.
Mammography is an x-ray of the breast that uses low doses of radiation. It can help find both cancerous (malignant) and non-cancerous (benign) tumours in the breast. Screening mammograms usually involve two x-ray images. Canadian screening guidelines recommend a mammogram every two years for women who are between the ages of 50 and 74 years. Now is the time to have a mammogram if you have never had a mammogram OR if it has been over two years since your last mammogram. Please call now to find out how to be referred.
Screening for colorectal cancer is easy and convenient. A stool test might be something you’d rather avoid. But it could save your life – it’s that simple. Colorectal cancer responds best to treatment when it is found and treated early. Treatment is most effective before the disease spreads outside of the colon. If you are aged 50 to 74 and not at high risk for colorectal cancer, have a stool test every 2 years. If you are 75 or older, talk to your doctor about whether a stool test is right for you. There is convincing evidence that stool tests with appropriate follow-up can significantly reduce deaths from colorectal cancer.