Early Detection Of Cancer
Farly detection of cancer is based upon three fundamental assumptions, firstly that the trea'ment of benign and precancerous lesions reduces the incidence of cancer, secondly, that the treatment of in situ cancers is conducive to total cure and thirdly that early diagnosis and management of invasive cancer ensures be.ter survival. When patient seeks medical advice for vague symptoms, which could however be due to a possible malignant tumour at a particular site, the alert clinician should investigate the patient immediately to exclude cancer. At this stage cancer is usually not significantly advanced.
Currently the U. I. C. C. (International Union for Cancer Control} is studying the epidemiology of cancers in various countries The importance of this is two folds : Firstly by focussing attention on a section of population vulnerable to a particular cancer an early detection is facilitated Secondly by changing the causative factors responsible to a particular cancer, the incidence of that cancer can be reduced e. g. reduction in lung cancer following campaigns against ciguette smoking and reductioi in breast cancer after campaigns for advocating breast feeding of infants, lowering fat consumption and encouraging self palpation of breast regularly.
Indeed early diagnosis of cancer implies diagnosis of cancer in almost a symptomatic stage It involves motiva’ion of the population towards acquisitio : of knowledge, attitude and practice.. Epidemiologies and clinicians should be able to recognise high risk cases exposed to particular neoplasia and knowledge of alarming symptoms should be pro- pogated for wide publicity through common available media and means. Probable cases should have regular clhrcal examination periodically and relevant investigations including radiological, imaging techniques and Bio-Chemical examination should be undertaken as and when desired Suspicious lesions should be investigated by specific tests including smear cytology, aspiration cytology, tru-Cut needle biopsy and incision tl or excisional biopsy to exclude or confirm the diagnosis. A vigilant clinician thus may diagnose cancer at early stage.