Do you need a cancer screening? - FOX 35 News Orlando

FOX Medical Team

Do you need a cancer screening?

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Catching cancer early, while it's still treatable, can make a critical difference. But, how do you know which cancer screenings you need, and which to skip, when the recommendations are changing all the time?

It would be great if we had a blood test that could tell us "yes" or "no." But, we don't. There are a handful of tests, and some of them are not that precise. So, it's important to know which test is right for you and when you should be getting screened.

John Cutter is one of those rare guys who actually goes to the doctor. Two years ago it paid off when a routine blood test, called a PSA, spotted a problem with Cutter's prostate gland.
    
"I had a very aggressive form of cancer.  Another six months could have made a lot of difference in what the ultimate results were," said Cutter.

At Clark Atlanta University, Dr. Shafiq Khan says doctors have two ways to spot prostate cancer:  a physical exam, such as a PSA.
 
"But you need further tests to find out if you have cancer or not, and even if you have cancer, you don't if it is slow growing or if it's a fast-growing cancer," said Khan.

Critics say men with high PSAs are being given treatments they don't need, leading to incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

But at Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia, medical director Dr. Frank Critz, says telling men not to get tested isn't the answer.

"I get a PSA test every year, on my annual physical exam, and I don't care what anybody says, I'm going to continue to do that because not all prostate cancer is the slow growing kind.  Matter of fact, most prostate cancer is not the slow growing kind," said Critz.

So do you need a PSA?  You need to talk to your doctor.

Mammograms aren't foolproof either. They have a high rate of false-positives, which can lead to more follow-ups, biopsies and anxiety. But, they're still the gold-standard. Mammograms are recommended for women 40 and over every year.

Colonoscopy, the screening tool for colon cancer, has few critics. Men and women 50 and up should get one every ten years.

For cervical cancer, women from 21 to 29 should get a pap smear every three years, and for women 30 to 65, every five years.

Cutter had radioactive seeds implanted into his prostate to kill his cancer, and now he's a volunteer,   spreading the "get-tested" message.

"So we, absolutely, positively advocate for people to get PSA tests, and to get them on a regular basis," said Cutter.

If you're a current or former heavy smoker over 50, you may want to talk to your doctor about getting a low-dose CT scan to look for lung cancer. The scans are not recommended for healthy people, who are not considered high-risk.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Stars of 'Get On Up' The Story of James Brown, visit Good Day

    Stars of 'Get On Up' The Story of James Brown, visit Good Day

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:55 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:55:46 GMT
    In his follow-up to the four-time Academy Award®-nominated blockbuster The Help, Tate Taylor directs 42’s Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in GET ON UP.
    In his follow-up to the four-time Academy Award®-nominated blockbuster The Help, Tate Taylor directs 42’s Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in GET ON UP.
  • Good Day Atlanta

    Pike Nurseries: Attracting Hummingbirds

    Pike Nurseries: Attracting Hummingbirds

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:05 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:05:09 GMT
    Hummingbirds and other winged wildlife can add beautiful color and movement to a garden. You can enjoy the stunning sights and sounds of these featured friends, while also helping them access food, shelter, water and sunlight with hummingbird gardening.
    Hummingbirds and other winged wildlife can add beautiful color and movement to a garden. You can enjoy the stunning sights and sounds of these featured friends, while also helping them access food, shelter, water and sunlight with hummingbird gardening.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices