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The American Cancer Society recommends these cancer screening guidelines for most adults. Screening tests are used to find cancer before a person has any symptoms.
Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRIs along with mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is very small.) Talk with a health care provider about your risk for breast cancer and the best screening plan for you.
Starting at age 50, both men and women should follow one of these testing plans:
* If the test is positive, a colonoscopy should be done.
** The multiple stool take-home test should be used. One test done in the office is not enough. A colonoscopy should be done if the test is positive.
The tests that can find both early cancer and polyps should be your first choice if these tests are available and you’re willing to have one of them. Talk to a health care provider about which test is best for you.
If you are at high risk of colon cancer based on family history or other factors, you may need to be screened using a different schedule. Talk with a health care provider about your history and the testing plan that’s best for you.
Some women – because of their health history (HIV infection, organ transplant, DES exposure, etc.) – may need a different screening schedule for cervical cancer. Talk to a health care provider about your history.
The American Cancer Society recommends that at the time of menopause, all women should be told about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer. Women should report any unexpected vaginal bleeding or spotting to their doctors.
Some women – because of their history – may need to consider having a yearly endometrial biopsy. Please talk with a health care provider about your history.
The American Cancer Society does not recommend tests to check for lung cancer in people who are at average risk. But there are screening guidelines for those who are at high risk of lung cancer due to cigarette smoking. Screening might be right for you if you are all of the following:
Screening is done with an annual low-dose CT scan (LDCT) of the chest. If you fit the list above, talk to a health care provider if you want to start screening.
The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with a health care provider about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. Research has not yet proven that the potential benefits of testing outweigh the harms of testing and treatment. We believe that men should not be tested without first learning about what we know and don’t know about the risks and possible benefits of testing and treatment.
Starting at age 50, men should talk to a health care provider about the pros and cons of testing so they can decide if testing is the right choice for them.
If you are African American or have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, you should have this talk with a health care provider starting at age 45.
If you decide to be tested, you should get a PSA blood test with or without a rectal exam. How often you’re tested will depend on your PSA level.
For more on what you can do to help reduce your cancer risk and other questions about cancer, please visit the American Cancer Society online at www.cancer.org, or call anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345.