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Your Cancer Screening Checklist

Your Cancer Screening Checklist

“Regular cancer screenings allow your doctor to check for cancer before you show any symptoms,” said Brian Gaupp, MD, PhD, medical oncologist and hematologist/oncologist at Archbold’s Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center. “This can help detect cancers earlier, when they are more responsive to treatment.”

Discuss this list of cancer screenings recommended by the American Cancer Society with your doctor and see which ones are right for you.

Breast Cancer

  • Age 40-44: Discuss mammograms with your doctor. If you have a family history or other risk factors for breast cancer, you may need to begin screening earlier.
  • Age 45: Begin annual mammograms if you are at average risk. Continue until age 54.
  • Age 55: Consider getting mammograms every two years.

Cervical Cancer

  • Age 25-65: Get screened with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years, even if you have been vaccinated against HPV, or have an HPV-Pap co-test every five years, or a Pap test only every three years.

Colorectal Cancer

Colonoscopies are considered the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening because they allow physicians to both detect and remove potentially cancerous polyps. However, other options are available.

  • Age 45-75: Begin regular screenings at age 45 if you are at average risk. Frequency of screening depends on the method you choose. You should have a colonoscopy every 10 years unless more frequently indicated by your doctor.

Lung Cancer

You should be screened for lung cancer if you meet all the following criteria:

  • You are age 55-80
  • You currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
  • You have at least a 30-pack-year smoking history (one pack per day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, etc.)

Prostate Cancer

Men at higher-than-average risk of prostate cancer should discuss the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screenings beginning at age 45, possibly even earlier. You are considered at high risk if you:

  • Are African American
  • Have a close family member who had prostate cancer before age 65

At age 50, men at average risk should ask their doctors about screenings.

Your primary cancer provider can tell you which of these screenings you need and when. Find a provider at