As doctors treating breast and lung cancers for more than 20 years, we continue to see sadly patients coming in at the later stages. In breast cancer, we do see patients coming in with large lump in the breast, discharge from the nipple or a persistent rash that have been present for years. While another patient could be having cough, shortness of breath or coughing of blood stained sputum for months. Internet material describing symptoms of breast and lung cancer, while helping to alert patients, often are symptoms when the cancer stages are higher/later.
Instead, be proactive:
- All women of ages 40 and beyond should have routine screening mammograms.
- All smokers who are smoking 20 pack-years or have smoked 20 packed years within the last 15 years, age between 50 to 80 are advised to have screening CT scan of the lungs.
Earlier diagnosis lead to better survival. We have many patients with breast and lung cancers who are cancer survivors.
Our roles are to help analyse these screening tests so that no unnecessary additional tests are performed while offering early and less complex treatment for the early cancers.