Especialistas reforçam a importância de exames preventivos e diagnóstico precoce para o câncer

Experts reinforce the importance of preventive exams and early diagnosis for cancer

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The most common cancer among men is prostate cancer, with an estimated 65,840 new cases. Among women, there are 66,280 cases of breast cancer. The data are from the National Cancer Institute (INCA). Specialists reinforce the importance of preventive exams and early diagnosis to increase the chances of cure.

Arn Migowski, epidemiologist and head of the Division of Early Detection and Support to the Network Organization of INCA, warns about mammography. This test can detect breast cancer early, and should be done once every two years by women aged between 50 and 69.

“Mammography is an exam that we recommend for several indications, one of which is as a routine exam that we call breast cancer screening, the famous check-up, to detect breast cancer in women who have no signs of symptoms suggestive of breast cancer, asymptomatic women”, she explains.

According to the doctor, for men, there is still no adequate cancer screening test. “There are many tests that are routinely used as a check-up for cancer that are not indicated. An example of probably the most popular are tests to detect early prostate cancer, digital rectal examination and PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen). These two tests are important for a variety of purposes, including for diagnostic evaluation for prostate cancer, but not for check-ups.”

The importance of check up
“There are some types of tests that really help to prevent cancer. This is the case of the cytopathological examination of the cervix, also called pap smear”, reports specialist Arn Midowski. According to him, the exam should be done by women aged between 25 and 64 who have already had sexual intercourse. The first ones must be done with an annual interval and, if both are negative, the periodicity must be triennial.

Fernanda Fagundes, 23 years old, resident of the city of Sapiranga, in Rio Grande do Sul, has a family history of uterine cancer, which is why she started having check-up tests at age 17. “On my father’s side, I have two aunts who had cervical cancer. Both needed to have the uterus removed, so I always had a lot of presence in this disease, ”she says.

Fernanda increased the frequency of general check-ups and blood tests to once a semester, after treatment for a cancer of lymphoma, which affects the immune system. “[O exame] allows us to visualize anything different that is in our body and we haven’t realized it. So, especially cancer, it is a disease that, the sooner the treatment is started, the more positive results a patient will find. I myself had symptoms a year before I discovered my illness. And if I had paid more attention to these subtle symptoms, I would have discovered my illness much earlier.”

Clinical oncologist Alessandra Leite clarifies that the check-up is essential, as it can diagnose cancer at very early stages. “These much smaller tumors are the most curable ones. The chance of healing is immense. And also, the treatments are less radical,” she explains.

Although cancer is not a unifactorial disease, the doctor clarifies that lifestyle changes are also important for disease prevention. “You can have a genetic tendency that is yours or that is hereditary. And if you associate this with negative exposures during life, for example, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, smoking, consumption of foods that have sausages, predispose several types of tumors. These factors are factors that we can change in our routine and that are one more factor for you to develop a tumor in your life”.

She recommends a healthy diet and the practice of physical activities in the prevention of some types of tumors, such as in the pancreas, breast and prostate. “A balanced diet, eating a little of everything, so a little carbohydrate, varied proteins, not drinking too much alcohol, avoiding exposure to inhalant agents that are toxic, all of this helps, it is for us to reduce the risk a little ” alerts the expert.

Cancer is the name given to a series of diseases caused by the abnormal growth of cells in the body, which multiply rapidly. If not treated, they can lead to death.

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