Health Advice



Cancer screening can save your life -- what are you waiting for?

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In the U.S., there are around 40,300 indoor movie screens all prepared to show some of the more than 8,895 titles that IMDB says will be released this year. Too bad cancer screens aren't getting such public support.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report says that last year, screening for breast cancer declined by 87%, and for cervical cancer it went down 84%. Screenings for lung and colorectal cancers also have declined, according to the National Cancer Institute. That means that cancer cases will be caught far later than they could have been, and outcomes are less certain. The NCI estimates that if folks get back to screenings, there will still be 10,000 excess deaths from colorectal and breast cancer in the U.S. in the next decade because of screening and treatment delays.

Earlier this year, a coalition of 76 cancer organizations released an open letter urging Americans to make cancer care a priority. That's because women ages 50 to 69 who get a mammogram every two years see a 16.5% reduction in deaths from breast cancer versus no screening. Getting an all-clear or having a polyp removed during a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy cuts the risk of colon cancer by 40%.

The cancer screenings that adults need (frequency depends on age, disease risks, gender and your doc) include: PSA (prostate), mammogram (breast), pap and HPV test (cervix), a visual skin check, fecal occult blood testing annually, colonoscopy when recommended (colorectal) -- and for heavy smokers, a CT scan. Talk to your doc about getting them on your schedule soon.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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