Be proactive with your health, talk to your doctor

Early cancer detection can have a big impact in treatment and survival rates
WTAP News @ Noon
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 7:18 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Earlier this week we looked at cancer in the fire service, but cancer can happen to anyone.

Now, WTAP spoke with a local doctor on the importance of being proactive with your health.

Dr. Jeff Ryckman is a doctor at WVU Medicine Camden Clark that does treatment of cancer with radiation.

Rykman says there’s a one in seven chance for men to get prostate cancer and a one in seven chance for women to get breast cancer.

Ryckman emphasized the importance of cancer screenings and how early detections can make a big impact in treatment and survival rates.

He says the first step is talking to your primary care physician.

”In general I think the age of 40 is a good age to start thinking of getting screened for prostate cancer... for breast cancer. But the easiest thing is to go talk to your primary care provider. A lot of folks don’t have a primary care provider and some things can be caught on normal, routine blood work.”

Dr. Ryckman continued to explain that in general cancer screenings start at age 40 for prostate and breast cancer, but that there is two exceptions for this. The first is at age 50, colonoscopies and screenings for people who are former smokers or have been exposed to second hand smoke are typically done. The other is related to family history.

”If you do have a family history of multiple relatives having a certain type of cancer or developing a cancer at a really young age, it’s probably a good idea to talk to your primary care provider about earlier screenings.”

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