Yearly mammograms are recommended for women beginning at age 40, based on guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Radiology, and the American Cancer Society. Women should talk with their doctors if they have questions about when to begin, frequency, and when to end screening.
Make screenings part of your healthcare routine.
Why Screenings are Important
When diseases are found early on, they are easier to treat and manage. Screenings can catch health issues before there are any symptoms. Most health insurance plans cover preventive care screenings. If a screening test shows a possible health problem, follow-up care may include treatment, additional testing, referral to a specialist, health counseling, or education.
Regular cervical screenings are recommended for women ages 21 to 65. Both Pap smears, and HPV (human papillomavirus) tests can help detect abnormal cervical cells before they turn into cervical cancer. If you are age 66 or older, ask your doctor if you need to continue regular cervical cancer screenings.
The general recommendation is to get your cholesterol checked every 4 to 6 years for most adults. More frequent checkups are recommended for anyone at higher risk for heart disease, over the age of 45, or who has high levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. Cholesterol screenings are typically done in a lab.
Colorectal cancer screenings are recommended for patients ages 50 to 75. You may need to get tested earlier if colorectal cancer runs in your family. Check with your primary care provider about your risk for colorectal cancer.
Hereditary cancers account for 5-10% of all cancers. People with hereditary cancer risk have a much higher likelihood of developing cancer in their life. Our program provides screening, counseling, and testing to people with a strong family history of cancer, and those with certain cancer types who would benefit from testing. Our program goals are to reduce cancer incidence, prevent cancer, or find it early – when it is most treatable or curable.
Lung cancer screenings are recommended for patients ages 50 to 80 who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years.
The decision to be screened for prostate cancer should be made only after men have had a discussion with their doctors about the uncertainties, risks, and benefits. Since opinions vary on how often these screenings are needed, you should talk to your primary care provider about what’s best for you.
It is important to see a dermatologist one a year and perform monthly self-screenings to detect skin cancer. Risk factors for skin cancer include: fair complexion, family history, excessive sun exposure, and severe sunburns as a child.