Cancer Testing: Which do you need?

by - November 01, 2017

Cancer is still one of the major causes of death in the country and even globally. Even though new cures are being find everyday, still, early detection of it will always saves lives. Cancer that is detected early is more likely to be treated successfully. The chances of the disease's spread in the body are also reduced significantly.  After the disease has spread, treatment becomes more difficult.

At MediCard Lifestyle Center Breast Clinic in Makati (shown in photo), women breast surgeons who specialize in breast conditions are available for consultations.

MediCard president and CEO Dr. Nicky Montoya says it is important for people to undergo early screening particularly for some of the most common cancers - cervical, colon, and breast.

Dr. Montoya identifies the cancer tests needed:

Cervical cancer screening (Pap test).  Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the cervix grows out of control. Women aged 21 to 30, or are sexually active, should have a pap test or pap smear, a microscopic analysis of cervical tissue samples, every three years. High-risk women have to be screened more often. Risk factors include a family history of cancer, use of birth control pills for five or more years, and a history of HPV (Human papillomavirus) infection, the most common sexually transmitted disease. A pap test takes about 10-20 minutes. The doctor swabs the cervix to get a sample of cells. The sample will be sent to a laboratory for testing and the results will be available after a few days.

Colon cancer test. Several screenings are available to detect cancer of the colon such as Colonoscopy, Sigmoidoscopy and stool testing. In colonoscopy, the colon is checked for cancerous or precancerous polyps, or abnormal growths in the rectum or colon, through a flexible tube with a light and camera at the tip. Sigmoidoscopy is similar to colonoscopy but it only examines the rectum and the lower (sigmoid) portion of the colon. For stool testing, a sample of the stool is tested for small traces of blood that may indicate colon cancer.

Dr. Montoya says, "People should undergo colonoscopy starting from age 45.  They should  talk to their doctors about the pros and cons of the test based on their health and risk factors. Younger people should consider testing if they are at high risk." Risk factors include family history of cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity, smoking, type 2 diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, and a diet high in processed meats.

Breast cancer test (Mammogram). Doctors recommend a monthly breast self-examination. Breast cancer screening helps check a woman’s breast for cancer before signs or symptoms of the disease appear. A mammogram, or X-ray of the breast, is so far the best way to detect cancer early. Women aged 50 to 74 should undergo mammogram every two years, especially if they have a high risk of getting the disease. Risk factors are dense breasts, menstrual periods that begin before age 12 or end after age 55, not having a child before age 30, postmenopausal hormone-replacement therapy, obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.

At MediCard Lifestyle Center Breast Clinic, women breast surgeons who specialize in breast conditions are available for consultations. The doctors can screen for lumps using digital mammogram and breast ultrasound, or even conduct biopsy using mammotome, which enables doctors to collect tissue samples and make highly accurate breast cancer diagnosis without the need for open surgery.

MediCard has several free-standing clinics in key cities nationwide that offer consultations, tests and vaccinations. Visit a MediCard clinic near you or check out their website at for more information. 

You May Also Like