Healthy Living Why you should get your cancer screening done

There's no blanket way to check for every cancer so it is advised to do as many cancer tests as is possible. Better safe than sorry.

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Cancer screening

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Last week, Taylor Swift posted a heartbreaking note about her mom, who she revealed has been diagnosed with cancer.

In the note, Taylor writes that after urging her healthy-seeming mom to visit the doctor for a routine check on her health, the results from cancer tests she had came back positive.

There's no blanket way to check for every cancer, so it's possible that Taylor's mom either showed symptoms that alerted her doctor or showed abnormal levels of something in her body after getting blood drawn for a complete blood count (CBC), which measures the amounts of certain cells in your blood.

While routine blood tests like a CBC are informative, they will only give you a snapshot of your health; having too few or too many of certain cells can be caused by many reasons, so a general blood test is not a definitive way to check if you have cancer.

While you can't just make an appointment and ask for a general cancer test, Taylor's note is a good reminder that having a regular relationship with your primary doctor (or even gynecologist) will help you keep track of your health so you can order tests for anything out of the ordinary.

If your doctor does suspect something abnormal, there are specific blood tests that can detect possible tumor cells or other abnormalities in your blood.

Scheduling regular physicals and being sure to make all your cancer screenings, like a Pap smear every two to three years to screen for cervical cancer and a clinical breast exam or mammogram to screen for breast cancer, are also smart ways to take control of your health and do what's best for your body.

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