What is Cancer?
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later.
How Can You Help Prevent Cancer or Find it Early?
Making healthier choices, such as improving your diet, protecting your skin, avoiding tobacco, and limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, can reduce your risk of getting cancer. Some vaccines can also help reduce your risk of developing cancer. For some types of cancer, there are specific tests that can detect the presence of cancer- this is called cancer screening.
Cancer Screening Saves Lives!
HWC is Here to Help!
Ask your HWC healthcare team if it’s time for any of your annual cancer screenings. Your provider can talk to you about different screening options and help you make an informed decision about which type of screening is best for you.
Many health insurance companies offer cancer screenings at little or no out-of-pocket cost- this can vary based on your individual policy. If you are uninsured or underinsured and need colorectal, cervical, or breast cancer screening, HWC may be able to help you access screenings at no or reduced cost through partnerships with other companies, agencies, and/or our sliding fee scale.
What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer is a disease that occurs and originates in the rectum or colon. Colorectal cancer begins with the development of polyps in the lining of the colon or rectum, which over time can turn into cancer. Cancer Screening educates users on important warning signs, so that they can take action if something seems wrong.
What is Colorectal Cancer Screening?
There are two types of tests when it comes to Colorectal cancer screening:
A kit is sent to your home where you obtain a small stool specimen that is then sent to a lab where they will test the sample for blood.
A one-time-use, thin, flexible, lighted tube is inserted so that a doctor can check for polyps or cancer inside the colon or rectum.
Who should get Screened for Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal Cancer can affect anyone. If you’re 50-75 years old, you should be screened for colorectal cancer.
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is cancer that begins to form in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower end of the uterus or womb. Prior to cancer forming, cells in the cervix go through changes called dysplasia. This causes abnormal cells to appear in the cervix. If left untreated, these cells may become cancerous spreading to other areas.
What is Cervical Cancer Screening?
Cervical cancer screening involves looking for these abnormal cells in the cervix. There are two different screenings that can be done:
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test
This test checks cells in the cervix for infection with high-risk HPV types.
Pap Smear Test
The Pap test or Pap Smear collects cervical cells which are then sent to a lab to check for signs of HPV.
Who should get Screened for Cervical Cancer?
Women Age 21-29 Years
For those in this age group it is recommended that you get your first Pap Smear at age 21, even if you are not sexually active.
Women Age 30-65 years
For those in this age group, it is recommended to get screened using the following guide:
HPV test every 5 years
HPV/Pap cotest every 5 years
Pap Smear every 3 years
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the formation of abnormal cells in the breast and over time replicate and form a lump or mass in the breast. These cells can spread or metastasize through your breast to other parts of your body.
What is Breast Cancer Screening?
There are two types of tests when it comes to Breast Cancer screening:
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. This is the easiest and best way to detect breast cancer in it’s early stages.
An MRI uses magnets and radio waves to take images of the breast to determine if there are abnormalities present. MRI’s are used for women who are at a higher risk for breast cancer.
Who should get Screened for Breast Cancer?
It is recommended that women who are 40 to 49 years old talk to their healthcare provider about when and how often they should be screened for breast cancer. For women who are 50 to 74 years of age it is recommended to be screened every 2 years.