Consumer Reports evaluated common cancer screenings and found there are some tests men don't really need.
The recommendations are based on reviews from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
They found that too many people were getting unneeded tests.
And too few are getting appropriate screening.
Men should get screened for colon cancer with a colonoscopy.
People 50 to 75 should be regularly screened. Younger people should consider tests if they are high risk.
Risk factors include a family history, obesity, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
But here are some tests to avoid:
1.) Bladder Cancer
Most people don’t need to be screened unless they are at high risk.
Risk factors include smoking, exposure to workplace chemicals, a family history of the cancer.
2.) Lung Cancer
Most don’t need the test unless they are at the highest risk.
Risk factors include smoking, a family history, and long-term exposure to radon, asbestos or arsenic.
3.) Oral Cancer
The cancer is relatively uncommon.
Risk factors include smoking, chewing tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption, HPV infection, and weakened immunity from medication.
4.) Skin Cancer
The effectiveness of screening has not been proved.
Risk factors include a family history of melanoma, a personal history of frequent sunburns, a large or increasing number of precancerous moles, and being fair-skinned or heavily freckled.
5.) Prostate Cancer
Men age 50 to 74 should talk with a doctor to see whether the benefits of the test outweigh the harm.
Risk factors include a family history of the disease, being African-American, and smoking.
Tests are not likely to detect the cancer at a curable stage.
6.) Pancreatic Cancer
No test is likely to detect the disease at a curable stage.
Risk factors include a family history of the disease, smoking, obesity, and possibly type 2 diabetes.
7.) Testicular Cancer
Most cancers found without screening are curable.
Risk factors include a family history the cancer, an undescended testicle, or HIV infection.
Before undergoing any screening -- ask these 5 questions:
1. If the test results are positive, will it save my life?
2. Am I at higher risk for cancer than the average person, and if so, why?
3. How often does the test give false alarms?
4. Are any other tests just as good?
5. If the results are positive, what’s next?
Jamie Urqhart/River Dee Trust
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