3 Reasons Cancer Screening is Important for Young Women

cancer screening
via Unsplash

Cancer screenings are an important part of your healthcare.

Cancer Can Affect Anyone At Any Time

Cancer doesn't seem like something that impacts young people too much. Many regular cancer screenings don't begin until middle age. It's a myth that cancer doesn't affect young adults. In fact, many young adults feel that cancer won't happen to them and may wait longer to go to the doctor than someone older than them. Not having health insurance is also a big reason why young adults might not go to the doctor even if they suspect something is wrong with them.

Because cancer can and does happen to young women, it's crucial to know why it is so important to get cancer screenings as a young adult.

1. Some Cancers Are On The Rise In Young Women

A recent study has found that not only are more people in their 20s and 30s getting diagnosed with colorectal cancer than ever before, but they're also more likely to die from it. Epidemiologist Rebecca L. Siegel says, "This is real...It's a small increase, and it is a trend that emerged only in the past decade, but I don't think it's a blip. The burden of disease is shifting to younger people." No one is yet sure what's causing the increase.

Cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) have also been on the rise. Between 1990 and 2013, incidence of stomach cancer is up 23 percent and liver cancer is up 70 percent worldwide. Oncologist Dr. Christina Fitzmaurice says, "Cancer remains a major threat to people's health around the world."

A post shared by oVertone (@overtonecolor) on

2. Earlier Detection Increases Survival Rates

The earlier cancer is found and treated, the higher a person's survival rate is. According to the Canary Foundation, the 5 year survival rate increases the earlier a cancer is caught for nearly all types of cancer. Since Pap smears have became common, there has been a 70 percent decrease in "cervical cancer incidence and death."

While most young women are pretty good about getting a Pap smear regularly, other cancer screenings are important too. (This will show you how to do a self breast exam.) Because cancer screenings are expensive, a lot of insurance companies might not want to pay for a screening for someone young. However, you know your body better than anyone. If you think something is wrong, talking to a doctor and discussing your options is a good idea. Be persistent, especially if you can tell something is off.

If you have a family history of cancer, particularly a parent or grandparent, it is especially important to get checked out.

3. For Your Peace Of Mind

If you have a cancer screening that turns out to be negative, the peace of mind that comes with a negative test result is unexplainable. Now you know. It is especially therapeutic if you have a family history of cancer or if you were experiencing strange, new symptoms you've never experienced before.

For as incredible as it is to have a negative cancer screening, it is still important to keep up with your health and regularly get checkups with your doctor.

A post shared by Relay For Life (@relayforlife) on

Symptoms To Watch Out For

Easy bruising

• Loss of appetite and weight loss

• Lumps or swelling in your breast, belly, neck, etc.

• Loss of energy for seemingly no reason

• Abnormal bleeding

• Unexplained pain

• Frequent headaches, sometimes with vomiting

• Moles that change shape, size, or color