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Benefits of Regular Health Screenings and Early Detection

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Recommendations from Presbyterian Cancer Care

Regular Screenings are Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

While there are many things that can affect your chance of getting cancer, you can make healthy choices that will help decrease your risk. Some of these you probably already know, like getting daily exercise or eating healthy foods, but did you know that getting recommended screening tests is another way you can make smart health decisions?

Screening tests can find different types of cancers, even in their early stages, when treatmentswork best. These include breast, cervical, prostate, lung and colorectal (or colon) cancers.

What Screenings are Recommended for Me?

AGES 21-39

  • Cervical cancer (women)

AGES 40-49

AGES 50-65


Your provider can help you decide which types of screening are right for you, based on your health history, family history and lifestyle.

Types of Screenings

  • Breast cancer: Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early. For women with no other risk factors, a mammogram should be done every year beginning at age 40. Women with a family history of breast cancer should talk to their provider about having screening mammograms at an earlier age.

  • Cervical cancer: Women aged 21 and older should have a Pap test to check for precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix. If results are normal, a repeat test every 3 years is usually recommended.

  • Colorectal cancer: All adults, ages 50 to 75, should be screened for colorectal cancer. There are several different screening tests available including colonoscopies, stool tests or flexible sigmoidoscopes. If you are an adult with other risk factors, such as a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps, or a personal history of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, your provider may recommend screening before age 50.

  • Lung cancer: Adults with a history of smoking tobacco or other risk factors (such as asbestos exposure) should consider a low-dose CT scan for yearly screening.

  • Prostate cancer: Men over the age of 50 should talk to their provider about a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test to screen for prostate cancer. Your provider can give you guidelines for whether screening is right for you and how often you should be tested.


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