5 cancer screening tests to know about and when to get them

At 40, women should be speaking with their doctors about scheduling a mammogram. Those considered high risk may need to schedule a screening earlier.

Gillian Neff and Rose Shannon

Jan 28, 2024, 2:34 PM

Updated 174 days ago

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The American Cancer Society says there are five cancer screening tests people need to be aware of and be diligent about getting.
At 40, women should be speaking with their doctors about scheduling a mammogram. Those considered high risk may need to schedule a screening earlier.
Doctors say by 45, every woman should have an annual Mammogram. It is recommended women ask their doctor if they have dense breast tissue because that will make it harder to detect cancer with a mammogram.
For people who are not deemed high risk, which is based on factors such as family history or a previous polyp, home tests are available for colorectal cancer screenings. Those who are at a high or average risk should get colonoscopy starting at age 45. Results will dictate how often screenings are needed.
Prostate cancer screenings are meant for men between 45 and 50. By 50, screenings should be part of an annual discussion with their doctors. African Americans and others who are high risk may need a screening as early as 40.
Starting at 25, women should be screened for cervical cancer, most often caused by human papillomavirus. The test can be done at the same time as a pap smear.
Starting at 50, smokers or formers smokers with a 20 pack a year history should be screened for lung cancer.


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