A healthy lifestyle and regular comprehensive cancer screening is the only real protection against cancer.

Apollo Hospitals has been a pioneer in introducing comprehensive cancer screening in India. At APCC, we draw on Apollo Hospitals’ rich legacy in preventive screening to build a robust line of defence against cancer. In the treatment of cancer, early detection has an invaluable advantage as it increases the efficacy of the treatment dramatically. Apollo’s 360-degree cancer program provides wide access to early detection through its Organ Specific Cancer Screening Clinics.

Screening at Apollo Hospitals uses the most advanced methodology which includes detailed examination, comprehensive testing, genetic evaluation and cutting-edge imaging. Described below are the specific cancer screening protocols that we undertake at APCC:

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer screening refers to the regular breast examinations recommended by doctors to detect breast cancer before symptoms develop. The purpose of these examinations is to find breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stages. APCC recommends screening at age-specific levels:

  • Women aged 40 to 44 should start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (X-rays of the breast).
  • Women aged 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women aged 55 and above should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or continue yearly screening
  • Ultrasound can be recommended for women with dense breast tissue
  • All women should consider performing a monthly self-breast exam beginning at age 20, and become familiar with their breasts so they are better able to notice changes.

Some women have a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. For such cases, APCC recommends:

  • A clinical breast exam every six months
  • Annual mammogram starting at age 25
  • An annual breast MRI

Prostate & Urological Cancer Screening

If detected early, prostate cancer can be treated with much greater ease and efficacy. Managing the disease from an early stage helps sustain a good quality of life. Prostate cancer screening tests include:

  • Digital Rectal Exam (DR.E) - During this test, a doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate for swelling, inflammation, or other abnormalities, such as hardness or a nodule (a small, rounded bump).
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test - PSA is a protein made by cells in the prostate gland. A PSA test measures the level of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) in the blood.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Screening for colorectal cancer can find both cancer and polyps at an early stage. Regular screening is highly recommended for individuals with a high risk of colon cancer based on family history or other factors.

Tests that diagnose polyps and cancer:

  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years
  • Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years

Tests that can help diagnose cancer:

  • Yearly Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)
  • Yearly guaiac-based Faecal Occult Blood Test (gFOBT)
  • Stool DNA test (sDNA) every 3 years

Cervical Cancer

A Pap smear or liquid-based cytology test is typically used to screen for cervical dysplasia (pre-cancer) and cervical cancer.

During a Pap smear, the doctor inserts a lubricated instrument into the patient’s vagina and takes a sample of mucus and cells by gently scraping the cervix. The tissue samples are sent to the lab for analysis, following which, any irregularities in the samples are further investigated.

Some common guidelines to keep in mind for the screening of cervical cancer are;

  • Cervical cancer testing is done for women aged 21 and above. Any woman under the age of 21 should not be tested.
  • A pap test every 3 years is recommended for women between the ages of 21 and 29. HPV testing should not be used in this age group unless it’s needed after an abnormal Pap test result.
  • Co-testing (pap test + HPV test) every 5 years is recommended for women between the ages of 30 and 65.
  • For women who have had regular cervical cancer testing in the past 10 years with normal results, cervical testing should not go past age 65. Once testing is stopped, it should not be restarted.
  • Women with a history of a serious cervical pre-cancer should continue to be tested for at least 20 years after that diagnosis, even if testing goes past age 65.
  • Women who have had a total hysterectomy (a removal of uterus and cervix) for reasons not related to cervical cancer, and who have no history of cervical cancer or serious pre-cancer, need not be tested.
  • All women who have been vaccinated against HPV should still follow the screening recommendations as per their age groups.

Head & Neck Cancer Screening

People who routinely drink alcohol, currently use or have used tobacco products in the past should receive general health screening examination at least once a year. This is a simple, quick procedure in which the doctor looks in the nose, mouth, and throat for abnormalities, and feels for lumps in the neck.

Regular dental checks are also important to screen for head and neck cancer.

Winning over Cancer with Apollo Proton Cancer Centre

A breakthrough in Cancer Care! The global growing cancer burden tells an ominous tale. To counter this growing threat, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre provides a complete and comprehensive solution. As cancer care has become one of the fastest-growing healthcare imperatives across the world, we believe it is critical to redefine our purpose, to reboot our commitment on the single-minded focus - to battle cancer, to conquer cancer! APCC stands as a ray of hope for millions, infusing them with the courage to stand and stare cancer down.