Early detection makes a difference

woman making online appointment

Early detection is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer. The best way to detect cancer early is through routine screenings. Learn more about cancer screenings at McLaren Flint and speak with your primary care physician to determine which screenings you should schedule now or later.

Lung Cancer - Signs and Symptoms

Early signs of lung cancer may be difficult to detect without a screening because symptoms usually take time to develop. However, the earlier lung cancer is found, the greater the chance of survival. It is important to see your health care provider if you have:

  • A cough that doesn’t go away
  • A cough that causes you to bring up blood
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the face and neck
  • Arm pain or weakness
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss

Who should be screened?

Those who are at an increased risk of lung cancer are:

  • 55 – 77 years old
  • Asymptomatic (having a cough that does not go away, hoarseness, shortness of breath, etc.)
  • A current or former smoker with at least a 30 pack-year smoking history (one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years)
  • A current smoker or those who have quit within the last 15 years.

Breast Cancer - Signs and Symptoms

There may not be symptoms that appear during the early stages of breast cancer, which is why routine screening mammograms are important for detecting the cancer as early as possible. The most common signs and symptoms are:

  • A lump or thickness in the breast or underarm area
  • A change in color, feel, size or shape of the breast or nipple
  • Unusual pain in the breast or an unusual discharge

Who should receive a screening mammogram?

Most women should have yearly breast cancer screenings if they:

  • Are 40 years or older.
  • Have a family history of breast cancer, especially a first- or second- degree relative who has had the disease.
  • Have a personal or family history of certain genetic mutations.
  • Have dense breasts.
  • Are considered high risk for breast cancer

Colon Cancer - Signs and Symptoms

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or blood in the stool
  • Cramping or pain in the lower abdominal (stomach) area
  • Constant tiredness or lack of energy

Who should be screened?

Generally, men and women at average risk of developing a colorectal cancer should begin screenings at age 50 and continue every 10 years if the results are normal. Some should be screened earlier than age 50 if they have a higher risk of getting colorectal cancer. African Americans are encouraged to begin screening at age 45. Men and women are also encouraged to speak with their physician about colonoscopies if they:

  • Have had colorectal cancer before.
  • Have a history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer.
  • Have a family history of colorectal cancer or other genetic factors (e.g. Lynch syndrome, or familial polyposis).
  • Have a personal history of colorectal polyps.
  • Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), also known as Crohn’s disease or Colitis.
  • Are obese and/or are physically inactive.
  • Are regular tobacco or alcohol users.
  • Have a diet that is high fat or high in red or processed meat and low in fiber, calcium, fruit and vegetables.
  • Have Type 2 diabetes.

Need to schedule a screening? We can help.

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What should I get screened for?

Speak to your primary care physician to find out if you need to be screened for cancer, and what screening you should get. If you are seeking a new primary care doctor you may view a list of specialists who are accepting new patients within two to four weeks, or less.