Cancer screening tests and prevention

Cancer is unsurprisingly a disease that many people worry about developing. Rainer Arendt (MD) explains what the symptoms of cancer are, and discusses cancer screening programmes and what we can do to prevent cancer from developing.
Rainer Arendt (MD) is one of the doctors in charge at the renowned health check-up center Double Check in Zurich. Dr. Arendt is a specialist in internal medicine and cardiology, and has extensive experience in these fields.

What can you do to detect cancer as early as possible?

We offer endoscopy, imaging by ultrasound, X-ray, CT or MRI, and certain blood tests to detect cancer at an early a stage as possible.

Is cancer screening usually part of a full health check?

Usually, basic screening is included, and is mainly built on a patient‘s family history, physical examination and certain blood tests.

How can medical checkup centres diagnose cancer?

Through sophisticated imaging ranging from ultrasound, to X-ray, CT, MRI, PET plus endoscopy and blood tests.

Are there special tests for colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, etc.?

You do a colonoscopy to rule out colon cancer or pre-cancerous lesions; a blood test, physical examination and ultrasound to rule out prostate cancer (and sometimes additional biopsies); a spiral CT of the chest to rule out lung cancer; a mammography to rule out breast cancer.
Basic lifestyle changes can have a tremendous impact on the rates of cancer.

Dr. Arendt

Can you do anything in daily life to prevent cancer from developing?

Certain eating habits and obesity have been conservatively estimated to cause at least 20 percent of all cancers, although it‘s most likely that the actual percentage is much higher.

Many cancers are preventable. Basic lifestyle changes can have a tremendous impact on the rates of cancer.

General lifestyle recommendations include:

  • Avoid tobacco
  • Be physically active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in saturated/trans fat
  • Avoid sugar in your diet
  • Limit alcohol
  • Protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections
  • Avoid sun burn
  • Get regular screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer
  • Substitute vitamin D

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