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Are you up to date on your cancer screenings?

Talk to your doctor today about scheduling these important cancer screenings. Your doctor will help you determine how frequently you need to receive them.

Mammogram
While most women should begin annual mammograms at age 45 years, you should start talking to your doctor at age 40 about when you should begin screening. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms. Regular mammograms should continue for as long as a woman is in good health.

Pap test
A regular Pap test as part of a cervical exam is the most important screening in finding and treating cervical cell changes before they progress to cervical cancer. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should have a Pap test every three years. For women ages 30 to 65, the preferred testing method is the HPV co-test (cytology and the HPV test are administered together) every five years. Women older than 65 can stop screening if there is an adequate screening history. If you have certain risk factors, you should continue to be screened for cervical cancer as recommended by your doctor.

Colon cancer screening
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer in the United States. Regular screenings beginning at age 50 are the key to preventing colorectal cancer. Screenings can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment is most effective. You may need to be tested earlier if you have certain risk factors that put you at an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer. Check with your doctor on the frequency of screening for you.

Prostate screening
The ACS recommends that you should talk with your doctor about the uncertainties, risks and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening before being tested. If you are age 50, you should begin talking to your doctor about prostate cancer testing. If you are African American and/or have a family history of the disease, you should have this talk with your doctor starting at age 40 to 45.

Call out box:
Get healthy!

You can help lower your chances of cancer by getting the recommended cancer screenings and taking care of your health. Make healthy choices, every day!

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Stay active
  • Eat right

Sources:
American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.