Cancer will soon become the No. 1 killer in the United States. Fortunately, over the last few years there have been tremendous advances in all fields of Oncology, which have increased our understanding of the disease and the potential for its cure.
Thankfully, there is greater awareness and additional prevention strategies in place, which will hopefully allow for earlier detection.
The first important point to understand is that a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Most cancers are treatable and curable, if found early. That is why screening programs are so important.
The second aspect relates to women. The breast is the most frequent site of cancer in women, making yearly screenings with mammograms key for an early diagnosis.
The third important point to understand is that men should check their prostate. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. A rectal exam is an easy way to find prostate cancer at an early stage.
The fourth aspect of this list relates to our exposure to the sun. Because we live in the Sunshine State, we are at much higher risk for sun exposure. Therefore, it is important to check your skin. This will help diagnose skin cancers and melanomas while they are still curable.
Finally, the fifth aspect that everyone should know is that if you are older than 50 years of age, you should have your colon checked.
With better screening programs, less invasive surgeries that expedite recovery, and increased awareness, we will achieve higher cure rates.
For more information or for a physician referral, please call 305-674-CARE (2273) or visit www.msmc.com
Dr. Juan Paramo, Surgical Oncology
Mount Sinai Medical Center
Mount Sinai Aventura