When Should You Be Screened for Each Kind of Cancer?

Colon Cancer

If you have an elevated risk of contracting colon cancer due to genetic disorders or familial history you should discuss screenings options with your primary care physician in your 20s. For everyone else, colon cancer screening should start at 45. Discuss different testing options with your doctor. You should continue to have screenings until you reach 75, at which point you can discuss options with your physician again. After the age of 85, most people no longer need screenings for colon cancer.

Breast Cancer

Regular at-home tests for breast abnormalities should be conducted by anyone at risk for breast cancer, paying particular attention to any changes in how the breasts look. Unless you have a family history of breast cancer or are at increased risk due to other factors you shouldn’t need to start yearly mammograms until age 45, although it’s possible to start as early as age 40 if you and your doctor agree it is necessary. After age 55, you can start getting every 2 years.

Cervical Cancer

Anyone with a cervix should start cervical cancer testing at age 25, taking a primary HPV test every 5 years, or exploring other testing options with your primary care physician. These tests should continue until you’re 65, at which point testing should no longer be needed as long as you have had 10 years of normal results.

Prostate Cancer

People with a familial history of early prostate cancer should talk to their doctor about getting prostate cancers screenings as early as age 40. Anyone at risk should talk to their doctor at age 50 to determine whether testing is necessary.

Lung Cancer

Anyone with a history of smoking should discuss lung cancer screenings with their doctor around age 50. Depending on how recently you quit smoking, how frequently you smoked, and for how long, screening may be beneficial.

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