Cancer screening is meant for healthy people who do not have any signs or symptoms of illness. Screening tests allow health care providers to find cancer before the patient experiences any signs or symptoms.
It is important for individuals and health care providers to be able to recognize warning signs of cancer and act quickly. Finding cancer early before you have signs or symptoms improves the likelihood of successful treatment and can save your life. Early signs of cancer include lumps, sores that do not heal, quick weight loss, unusual bleeding, and persistent indigestion.
In the NWT, there are screening guidelines for three cancers:
- Breast Cancer Screening
- Cervical Cancer Screening
- Colorectal Cancer Screening
Learn more about the screening methods for each of these types of cancer, by clicking through the sidebar on this page. NWT residents have lower participation rates in routine cancer screening than other Canadians, it is very important to be screened. In 2011 and 2012, only
- 55% of eligible women had a screening mammogram for breast cancer
- 53% of eligible women had a screening Pap test for cervical cancer
- 20% of eligible men and women had a screening test for colorectal cancer
If you or a family member has already had cancer, or you are experiencing any unusual signs or symptoms that concern you, discuss your options for cancer screening with your primary care provider. You could be eligible for a different screening test, or to begin screening at an earlier age.