If you have a genetic predisposition to certain types of cancer, you may need to be screened more often or at an earlier age than the general population.
Some examples of screening recommendations are:
- Yearly mammograms for women beginning at age 40 and continuing or as long as a woman is in good health.
- Clinical breast exam every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
- Beginning at age 50, both men and women should follow one of these testing schedules:
- Tests that find polyps and cancer
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years*, or
- Colonoscopy every 10 years, or
- Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years*, or
- CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years*
- Tests that primarily find cancer
- Yearly fecal occult blood test (gFOBT)**, or
- Yearly fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year**, or
- Stool DNA test (sDNA), interval uncertain*
- All women should begin cervical cancer screening about three years after they begin having vaginal intercourse, but no later than 21 years old. Screening should be done every year with the regular Pap test or every two years using the newer liquid-based Pap test.
- Beginning at age 30, women who have had three normal Pap test results in a row may get screened every two to three years. Women older than 30 may also get screened every three years with either the conventional or liquid-based Pap test, plus the human papilloma virus (HPV) test.
- Women 70 years of age or older who have had three or more normal Pap tests in a row and no abnormal Pap test results in the last 10 years may choose to stop having Pap tests.
The cancer specialists at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center remind everyone to get their recommended cancer screening tests. National Cancer Prevention Month serves as a reminder to you’re your screening appointments and follow this blog for cancer prevention tips, recommendations and articles.
Learn more about recommended screening tests for cancer.
Find out your risk for cancer with the OncoLink "What's My Risk?" tool.
Learn more about your risk for colorectal cancer at CANPrevent Colorectal Cancer on Friday, March 2, 2012 and CANPrevent Skin Cancer on Friday, May 18, 2012.