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February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month

February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month


February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month. On Thursday, February 22nd, I spoke with a physician assistant at St. Peter's Health about the importance of getting tested regularly.

“We do screening because early detection of any type of cancer is critical to the best future prognosis,” said Sarah Kent, a physician assistant at St. Peter's Health.

The most common cancers include cervical cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and skin cancer.

“Cervical cancer is generally caused by HPV, and screening begins at age 21 and continues until around age 65. The other type of cancer is breast cancer, and mammography screening begins at age 40. “One of the recent changes in colon cancer screening is to start testing at age 50 and go down to age 45,” Kent said.

It is recommended that you have a skin cancer test at a dermatologist every year.

These age groups can change based on your personal risk and decision-making with your doctor.

Because cancer is generally asymptomatic, St. Peter's recommends that you schedule an annual checkup with your health care provider to catch any concerns early.

They understand that some people may feel anxious or fearful when it comes to medical matters.

“I think it's normal to feel anxious when you think about your health and your health prognosis. Even if you get tested and get a negative result, it's a huge sense of relief, knowing that everything will be okay. You can just keep going, 'forward,'” Kent said.




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