- Women ages 20-39 should have a clinical breast exam performed by a doctor every 3 years and perform a breast self-exam every month.
- Women age 40 and older should have a clinical breast exam by a doctor every year, a mammogram every year, and should perform a breast self-exam every month.
- Talk to your doctor about your personal risk factors. Women at higher risk may need to be screened more often.
Beginning at age 50, have one of the following tests:
Tests that find polyps and cancer:
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years*
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
- Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years*
- CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years*
Tests that mainly find cancer:
- Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year*
- Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year
- Stool DNA test (sDNA), how often uncertain*
*Colonoscopy should be done if test results are positive
Talk with your doctor about your personal risk for colorectal cancer, because people who are at a higher risk may to start testing at an earlier age.
- Women ages 21-29 should have a Pap test every 3 years
- Women ages 30-65 should have a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years or a Pap test alone every 3 years.
- Women age 65 and older can stop testing if you have had regular normal test results. If you have had a cervical pre-cancer, continue testing for 20 years after the diagnosis
- If you have not had cervical cancer and your cervix has been removed, you do not need to be tested
- Even if you have had the HPV vaccine, you need to follow the screening recommendations for your age group.
- Men age 50 and older should talk with their doctor about the benefits and harms of testing with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). The PSA blood test can detect high levels of prostate-specific antigen. If your PSA is elevated, it may indicate the presence of cancer or an enlargement or inflammation of the prostate gland.
- Men at higher risk (including African-Americans and those with a close family history of prostate cancer) should begin testing at 45.
Check your birthday suit on your birthday – if you notice anything that has changed or is new, see your doctor and have routine skin exams during regular health check-ups.*These are general guidelines. Discuss your personal schedule for screening exams with your primary care doctor. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women get a cancer-related check-up every three years between ages 20 to 40 and every year after that.