Early cancer detection is the best hope for a cure. Discuss your personal cancer risk factors with your doctor and follow screening guidelines. This chart outlines cancer screening for people of average risk.
Screening Tests for Everyone
- General Cancer Check-up: Physical exam is important
- Age 20 to 40 – every three years
- After 40 – every year
- Physical examination of skin, thyroid, oral cavity, lymph nodes, tests and ovaries
Colorectal Cancer: three important steps to follow
- Age 50 – begin screening
- Annual fecal occult blood test
- Digital rectal exam and sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
Screening Tests for Women
Breast cancer: three important steps to follow
- Age 20 to 40 – breast self-exam once a month
- Age 20 to 40 – breast exam by your health care provider every one to three years
- After 40 – breast exam by your doctor and screening mammograms once a year
Cervical cancer: two important steps to follow
Begins at age 18, or when a woman is sexually active:
- Age 18 to 40 – pelvic exam every one to three years Pap test for three consecutive normal years and then at the frequency suggested by her doctor.
- After age 40 – pelvic exam every year and pap test per doctor’s recommendation.
At menopause, discuss with your doctor the need to undergo endometrial tissue sampling.
Screening Tests for Men
Prostate cancer: three important steps to follow
- Age 50 – begin screening and continue every year
- Digital rectal exam and review of history
- Prostate-specific antigen blood test
The single best safeguard to your good health is to NOT use tobacco products.