Taylor Swift took to Tumblr to reveal some very personal news. Her mother, Andrea Finlay, has been diagnosed with cancer.
“For Christmas this year, I asked my mom that one of her gifts to me be her going to the doctor to get screened for any health issues, just to ease some worries of mine. She agreed, and went in to get checked. There were no red flags and she felt perfectly fine, but she did it just to get me and my brother off her case about it.
The results came in, and I’m saddened to tell you that my mom has been diagnosed with cancer. I’d like to keep the details of her condition and treatment plans private, but she wanted you to know.”
Taylor went on to say that she wanted her fans to take the message to their own parents:
“…[Y]our parents may be too busy juggling everything they’ve got going on to go to the doctor, and maybe you reminding them to go get checked for cancer could possibly lead to an early diagnosis and an easier battle… Or peace of mind in knowing that they’re healthy and there’s nothing to worry about.”
Taylor has always credited her parents for being her biggest fans and for all the sacrifices they have made to encourage her career. Her mom is frequently present at her concerts and TV appearances. Mom has also been her “date” at several award shows.
Taylor wrote the song Best Day Ever as a tribute to her mother. The video includes pictures from her childhood:
I think the message that “kids” can encourage their parents to get preventative screening is a wonderful one.
To that end, I thought it might be useful to share the American Cancer Society Guidelines for Early Cancer Detection and Prevention.
The American Cancer Society recommends these screening guidelines for most adults.
Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than 2% of all the women in the US.) Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age.
For more information: Breast Cancer Early Detection.
Beginning at age 50, both men and women should follow one of these testing schedules:
The tests that are designed to find both early cancer and polyps are preferred if these tests are available to you and you are willing to have one of these more invasive tests. Talk to your doctor about which test is best for you.
Some people should be screened using a different schedule because of their personal history or family history. Talk with your doctor about your history and what colorectal cancer screening schedule is best for you.
For more information: Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Early Detection.
Some women – because of their health history (HIV infection, organ transplant, or DES exposure, etc.) – may need to have a different screening schedule for cervical cancer. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your history.
For more information: Cervical Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
The American Cancer Society recommends that at the time of menopause, all women should be told about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer. Women should report any unexpected bleeding or spotting to their doctors.
Some women – because of their history – may need to consider having a yearly endometrial biopsy. Please talk with your doctor about your history.
For more information: Endometrial Cancer
The American Cancer Society does not recommend tests to screen for lung cancer in people who are at average risk of this disease. However, the ACS does have screening guidelines for individuals who are at high risk of lung cancer due to cigarette smoking. If you meet all of the following criteria then you might be a candidate for screening:
For more information: Lung Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with their doctor about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. Research has not yet proven that the potential benefits of testing outweigh the harms of testing and treatment. The American Cancer Society believes that men should not be tested without learning about what we know and don’t know about the risks and possible benefits of testing and treatment.
Starting at age 50, men should talk to a doctor about the pros and cons of testing so they can decide if testing is the right choice for them. If they are African American or have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, men should have this talk with a doctor starting at age 45. If men decide to be tested, they should have the PSA blood test with or without a rectal exam. How often they are tested will depend on their PSA level.
For more information: Prostate Cancer Early Detection.
For people aged 20 or older having periodic health exams, a cancer-related check-up should include health counseling and, depending on a person’s age and gender, exams for cancers of the thyroid, oral cavity, skin, lymph nodes, testes, and ovaries, as well as for some non-malignant (non-cancerous) diseases.