CANCER SCREENING GUIDELINES BY AGE AND GENDER

(Source: American Cancer Society) Colon Cancer – Women and Men

Ages 20 to 49

Find out if you are at higher than average risk for colon cancer because of family history, genetic disorders, or other factors. If you are not, testing is not needed for this age group. If you have an increased risk of colon cancer, talk with your health care provider about a plan for colon cancer screening and what tests are right for you.

Ages 50 to 64

Men and women with an average risk of colon cancer should be tested at age 50.  Talk with your health care provider about which screening tests would be best for you and how often testing should be done.

Ages 65 and Older

Testing is recommended. Talk with your health care provider about which screening tests would be best for you and how often testing should be done.

Breast Cancer – Women

Ages 20 to 39

Do a breast self exam at approximately the same time each month.  Report any changes in the way your breasts look or feel to your health care provider right away.  Find out if you are at a higher than average risk for breast cancer. If you are, talk with your health care provider about when to start getting mammograms or other screening tests.

Ages 40 to 49

Do a breast self exam at approximately the same time each month.  Report any changes in the way your breasts look or feel to your health care provider right away.  Starting at age 40, annual breast cancer screening with mammograms is an option.  The pros and cons of screening should be discussed with your primary health care provider and considered when making this choice.

At age 45, start getting an annual mammogram.

It is important to know if you have a higher than average risk of getting breast cancer.  If you have a higher risk, talk with your health care provider about when you should start having mammograms and whether you need to have other tests in addition.

Ages 50 to 64

Do a breast self-exam at approximately the same time each month.  Report any changes in the way your breasts look or feel to your health care provider right away.  From the age of 50 through 54, a yearly

mammogram is recommended.  Talk with your health care provider about the pros and cons of breast cancer screening.

Starting at age 55, talk with your health care provider about whether to continue getting a mammogram once a year, or to switch to an alternate year schedule.  It is important to know if you have a higher than average risk of getting breast cancer.  If you have a higher risk, talk with your health care provider about whether you need to have other tests in addition.

Ages 65 and Older

Do a breast self-exam at approximately the same time each month.  Report any changes in the way your breasts look or feel to your health care provider right away. It is recommended that you get a mammogram every alternate year, although you can choose to get one every year.  Talk with your health care provider about the pros and cons of breast cancer screening.

It is important to know if you have a higher than average risk of getting breast cancer.  If you have a higher risk, talk with your health care provider about whether you need to have other tests in addition.

Cervical Cancer – Women

Ages 20 to 29

No test is needed before age 21.  Starting at age 21 through age 29, women should have a Pap test every 3 years. A HPV test should not be done unless a Pap test is abnormal.  Even if you’ve been vaccinated against HPV, it is advised that you follow testing recommendations.

Ages 30 to 39

Starting at age 30, women with an average risk for cervical cancer should have a Pap test and an HPV test every 5 years or can continue to get a Pap test every 3 years.  Even if you’ve been vaccinated against HPV, it is advised that you follow testing recommendations.  You do not need a Pap test if you’ve had a hysterectomy that removed the uterus and cervix and was not related to a cervical cancer diagnosis.

Ages 40 to 50

Get a Pap test and an HPV test every 5 years or a Pap test every 3 years.  You do not need a Pap test if you’ve had a hysterectomy that removed the uterus and cervix and was not related to a cervical cancer diagnosis.  Women with a history of a serious cervical pre-cancer should continue testing for 20 years after their diagnosis.

Ages 65 and Older

No testing is needed if you’ve had Pap tests with normal results during the previous 10 years.  You do not need testing if you’ve had a hysterectomy that removed the uterus and cervix and was not related to a cervical cancer diagnosis.  Women with a history of a serious cervical pre-cancer should continue testing for 20 years after their diagnosis.

Prostate Cancer – Men

Ages 40 to 44

Men with more than one close relative who’s had prostate cancer before the age of 65 are considered to have an especially high risk of getting prostate cancer.  If you are in this group, talk with your primary care provider about starting testing at age 40.

Ages 45 to 49

Starting at age 45, men with a higher than average risk of getting prostate cancer (African-American men and men with a close family member who has had prostate cancer before the age of 65) should talk with their primary care provider about the risks and potential benefits of testing so they can decide whether they want to be tested.

Ages 50 to 65

At age 50, all men with an average risk of prostate cancer should talk with their health care providers about the risks and potential benefits of testing so they can decide whether they want to be tested.

Ages 65 and Older

Overall health status, and not age alone, is important when making decisions about prostate cancer testing. Men who can expect to live at least 10 more years should talk with their health care provider about the risks and potential benefits of testing so they can decide whether they want to be tested.

Lung Cancer – Women and Men

Ages 55 and Older

If you are 55 or older, talk with your health care provider about your smoking history and whether you should get yearly, low-dose CT scans to screen for early lung cancer.  Screening may benefit you if you are an active or former smoker (quit within the past 15 years), have no signs of lung cancer, and have a 30 pack-year smoking history.  (A pack-year is 1 pack of cigarettes per day per year.  One pack per day for 30 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years would both be 30 pack-years.)  You should discuss the benefits, limitations, risks, and potential costs of screening with your health care provider before testing

is done. You should also find out if your insurance will cover the cost of screening.