At a senior citizen program, the nurse who was invited to speak to the group is teaching them about early cancer detection. Which of the following should the nurse include in her presentation?

"Do a monthly breast self-exam."
"Get a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years."
"Get an annual mammogram."

Explanation

• Monthly breast self-exams are an important way to aid in early detection of cancer. It has been found that 40% of diagnosed breast cancers were detected by women who felt a lump on their breast. Of note, testicular cancer is most common in men between the ages of 15-35, so monthly testicular exams are not generally necessary in the geriatric population.

• Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.

• A flexible sigmoidoscopy is recommended every 5 years for both men and women beginning at age 50 to screen for polyps and colorectal cancer. If positive, a colonoscopy should be done. Otherwise, a colonoscopy should be done once every 10 years.

• Frequent skin biopsies are not recommended unless skin cancer is suspected.

• Reduction of fat in the diet and avoidance of overexposure to the sun refer to cancer prevention, not detection.

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