Certain diseases are more prevalent in communities due to multifactorial risks, some inherited and some acquired, during an individuals life-time.
Each persons overall risk is individualized and unique. They are usually asymptomatic.
Certain cancers like breast cancers etc., are screened according to established international guidelines.
Screening can be done using a clinical assessment, radiological investigations, tumour markers (blood test) and genetic markers. One needs to be assessed by a trained clinician to ensure that you are investigated appropriately and that the findings are interpreted correctly.
If you are symptomatic, this requires appropriate investigations. This technically is NOT screening.
Why should you be screened?
It is a FACT that the earlier diseases, like cancers, are identified, there is a likelihood that it will be caught in an earlier stage is there, which is associated with a better prognosis, an improved overall survival and a better chance of CURE.
- Breast Cancer is the commonest cancer affecting women in South Africa.
- Risk for developing cancer is based on a combination of inherited risk factors and acquired risk factors.
- Screening programs for breast cancer are used to try and identify pathology before it becomes clinically evident.
- Early detection is associated with improved survival.