The Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center

7 Things to Consider Before You Decide Whether to Get Screened

Posted on

Many people are still reluctant to get cancer screenings or treatment, but experts suggest you consider several factors before making a decision.

The opinion of your medical provider. Your medical provider can help you weigh the risks and benefits of getting a cancer screening or undergoing  treatment and identify the solution that is best for you.

Your overall health. If you are generally healthy and have no high-risk medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart disease, asthma, or a weakened immune system, you have less reason to avoid cancer screenings.

If you’re experiencing symptoms. Screenings are important even if you have  no signs of cancer, but if you have noticed anything suspicious (a lump in the breast, blood in the stool, a new or changing growth or lump on the skin, etc.), you should contact your provider immediately.

Your personal and family history. If you or your family members have had cancer you could be at a higher risk, which makes screenings even more important.

Your last screening. Your provider may give you the OK to delay your screening if you are only a few weeks past your next recommended screening date, but  if you have never had a screening or are long past due, it’s better not to wait.

COVID-19 infection rates in your area. In states with high rates of infection,  it might make sense to wait until those levels go down before scheduling a screening. If you are in mandatory quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 or travel to an area with high infection rates, wait until your quarantine period is over before scheduling a screening.

The safety practices of the facility where your screening or treatment will take place. Most hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of their patients and staff, but it won’t hurt to contact the facility where you plan to have your screening or treatment to learn what safety measures they are taking.