Trouble on the Horizon as Cancer Screenings Decline?

Mike Clifford - Maine News Service

AUGUSTA, Maine - The American Cancer Society, along with cancer experts across the country, has promoted cancer screenings as a way to cut cancer death rates, especially for breast, colon and prostate cancer. But over the last decade, the number of people seeking those screenings has dropped. 

Chuck Reed with the American Cancer Society thinks part of the reason is confusion.

“People aren’t sure exactly when to go in to get that first screening, and I strongly suggest to everybody to visit the American Cancer Society website and get our recommendations for screenings, because I believe we have the best ones out there.”

He says another reason for the drop may be that people fear bad news, but he says early detection means a better chance of a cure.

Reed says people need to be proactive about their health. 

“We can help people if they just follow the advice we give, so if they do indeed find cancer, we find it at an early stage. So, I’m more concerned about what’s going to happen down the road as far as finding cancers in more advanced stages.”

Reed says if you haven’t had a mammogram by age 40, you need to go in; if you haven’t had that colonoscopy by age 50, you need get one. For other recommendations on when to get cancer screenings, go to