Early detection of cancer greatly provides opportunities of successful treatment, and this depends on two axes: early diagnosis and screening. The focus of early diagnosis is on detecting people with initial symptoms early, while screening aims to conduct initial tests on healthy individuals to identify those with cancer before any symptoms appear.

Early diagnosis:
Early diagnosis programs aim to detect the disease in its early stages and reduce the percentage of patients whose diagnosis is delayed. These programs are based on two main components:
  1. Increase awareness of the initial signs and symptoms of cancer among doctors, nurses, health care providers, as well as the community.
  2. Facilitating access to health services and improving diagnostic and treatment services, in addition to improving referral processes from primary health care levels to higher levels such as specialized centers and hospitals.
Screening tests
Screening refers to the use of preliminary screening on healthy individuals who are most at risk of developing certain types of cancer and detecting them in the early stages before symptoms appear. This facilitates treatment and increases the chances of recovery. There are specific types of screening tests available for the most common types of cancer, such as:

  • Breast cancer
Mammography is used to screen for breast cancer in women ages 40-69, and breast MRI may be used for women who carry certain genetic mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer
(Stool occult blood test) is used to screen for colorectal cancer in people between 45-75 years. Colonoscopy can also be used, which has other benefits in diagnosis and treatment.