February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Feb 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 12:07:13-05

February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month. On Thursday, February 22, I spoke to a Physician’s Assistant at St. Peter’s Health about the importance of getting regular screenings.

“We do screenings because early detection of any sort of cancer is vital into the best possible prognosis going forward,” said Sarah Kent, a Physician’s Assistant at St. Peter’s Health.

Some of the most common cancers are cervical, breast, colon and skin cancer.

“Cervical cancer which is commonly caused by HPV and that we screen starting at age 21 and going up until about age 65. Another one is breast cancer, which we start screening with mammograms at age 40 and colon cancer screening is one that has recently changed, from starting screening at age 50, going down to age 45,” Kent said.

It is recommended that you have annual checks with Dermatology for skin cancer.

Based on your personal risk and decision making with your primary care provider those age ranges may shift.

Cancer is commonly asymptomatic, so St. Peter’s recommends annual check-up with your primary care provider to catch anything concerning early.

They understand that some people may experience anxiety or fear around things regarding healthcare.

“I think that having anxiety, just regards around health and health prognosis is a very normal thing to do and if we do the screenings and things come up negative, that’s such a huge reassurance that everything is okay and we can kind of just continue going forward,” said Kent.