Screening for Gastric Cancer - Overview of Screening
What is screening?
Screening for cancer is examination (or testing) of people for early stages in
the development of cancer even though they have no symptoms. Scientists have
studied patterns of cancer in the population to learn which people are more
likely to get certain types of cancer. They have also studied what things
around us and what personal habits may cause cancer. This information
sometimes helps doctors recommend who should be screened for certain types of
cancer, what types of screening tests people should have, and how often these
tests should be done. Not all screening tests are helpful, and most have risks
such as tearing (perforation) of the lining of the stomach during gastroscopy.
For this reason, scientists at the National Cancer Institute are studying many
screening tests to find out how useful they are and to determine the relative
benefits and harms.
If your doctor suggests certain cancer screening tests as part of your health
care plan, this does not mean he or she thinks you have cancer. Screening
tests are done when you have no symptoms. Since decisions about screening can
be difficult, you may want to discuss them with your doctor and ask questions
about the potential benefits and risks of screening tests and whether they have
been proven to decrease the risk of dying from cancer.
If your doctor suspects that you may have cancer, he or she will order certain
tests to see whether you do. These are called diagnostic tests. Some tests
are used for diagnostic purposes, but are not suitable for screening people who
have no symptoms.
Purposes of this summary
The purposes of this summary on gastric cancer screening are to:
- Give information on gastric cancer and what makes it more likely to occur
- Give current facts about which people or groups of people would most likely
be helped by screening.
You can talk to your doctor or health care professional about cancer screening
and whether it would be likely to help you.