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Family history of cancer. Advised sonomammagraphy and PET scan as regular ckeckup. What other tests are regularly required for cancer detection?

My family has a history of cancer right from my father having Renal carcinoma and had been operated and doing well for the last 7 yrs and then my dad d sister who had beast cancer recently expired and there is one more aunt my paternal side who had cervical cancer / lung am not sure of.. now am scared bcos im 29ys old and my aunt who expired was a doctor had told me to get sonomammagraphy done as a regular check up and after 35yrs to get a complete PET scan done in order to rule out the disease . Could you please tell me what test are necessary for me to be done on a regular basis. Kindly give me the details of the tests that needs to be done in future as well. Thanks in
Asked On : Sun, 1 Apr 2012
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  User's Response

I can understand your concerns and anxiety with a family history of cancer.

Routine screening procedures are different for specific cancers.

For breast, it starts with self examination for lumps and mammography after 35 years. For cervical cancer, you can start getting a Pap smear every year now. For lung cancer, chst x ray is being now evaluated for screening. There are a few blood tests that can cover for markers of cancer as well. All these procedures are available for low cost.

There are a few cancer that can be caused by defects in genes and they are transmitted within the family. A whole body imaging procedure such as a PET scan can be helpful in such situations. From what you have mentioned, it doesnot look like to be the case with your family. Since PET scan is a costly procedure, I would suggest you reserve it for the last and not as a screening procedure.

You can get it done once some time in the course and later on follow up with other routine procedures described above. Please go for the simpler tests first.

Hope this could be of help.

Answered: Wed, 27 Feb 2013
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