Reminders

Screening Recommendations By Age

The choices you make about diet, exercise, and other habits can affect your overall health and your risk for developing cancer and other serious diseases. It’s also important to follow recommendations for cancer screening so you have the best chance of finding the disease if it does occur.

The tabs below provide information on healthy lifestyle choices that can help lower your cancer risk, and recommendations for cancer screening tests by age and gender.

 

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES FOR MEN AND WOMEN

Stay Away from Tobacco
There is no safe form of tobacco. If you smoke or chew tobacco, stop! Encourage the people around you to quit. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 for help or see our Guide to Quitting Smoking for information about quitting.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese can raise your risk of many different types of cancers. You can control your weight with the choices you make every day for healthy eating and exercise by:
- Avoiding excessive weight gain
- Balancing the calories you take in with the amount of physical activity you do

If you are overweight, get to a healthy weight and stay there. Watching your portion sizes is an important part of weight control – especially for foods high in fat and sugar. Low-fat and fat-free doesn’t always mean low-calorie, so read labels and try to eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in the place of higher-calorie foods.

Get Moving
Adults: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week.

Children and adolescents: Get at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous activity on at least 3 days each week.

Don’t be a couch potato - Limit the amount of time you spend sitting.

Eat Healthy
Eat at least 2 ½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day. They contain many vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other good-for-you substances. Because they are generally low in fat and calories, they may also help you maintain a healthy weight, which helps reduce your risk of cancer.

Choose whole-grain rice, bread, pasta, and cereal instead of processed (refined) grains. Look for whole wheat, pumpernickel, rye, or oats as the first ingredient on the food label.

Limit the amount you eat of processed meats like cold cuts, bacon, and hot dogs, and red meats, such as beef, pork, and lamb. Instead, try lean meats (look for loin or round in the name, and the amount of fat on the meat) in smaller portions, skinless poultry breasts, fish, or legumes (peas and beans) as healthier sources of protein.

Limit How Much Alcohol You Drink
Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day, and women should have no more than 1 drink per day. A drink is 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

At this age, a cancer-related check-up should be part of your regular health exam and might include exams for cancers of the thyroid, mouth, skin, lymph nodes, testicles, and ovaries.

These special tests for certain cancers are recommended for your age and gender:

MEN

Colon Cancer Testing
Find out if you are at higher than average risk for colon cancer because of family history or other factors. If not, then no test is needed at this time. If you are at increased risk, talk to your doctor about when you need to begin testing and what tests are right for you.

WOMEN

Breast Cancer Testing
Have a breast exam by a doctor or nurse every three years. Report any breast changes to your doctor or nurse without delay.
Find out if you are at higher than average risk for breast cancer. If not, then no test is needed at this time. If you are, talk to your doctor about when you need to start getting mammograms or other tests.

Cervical Cancer Testing
No test is needed before age 21.
Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should have a Pap test every 3 years. HPV tests should not be used unless a Pap test is abnormal.
Follow testing recommendations even if you have been vaccinated against HPV.

Colon Cancer Testing
Find out if you are at higher than average risk for colon cancer because of family history or other factors. If not, then no test is needed at this time. If you are at increased risk, talk to your doctor about when you need to begin testing and what tests are right for you.

At this age, a cancer-related check-up should be part of your regular health exam and might include exams for cancers of the thyroid, mouth, skin, lymph nodes, testicles, and ovaries.

These special tests for certain cancers are recommended for your age and gender:

MEN

Colon Cancer Testing
Find out if you are at higher than average risk for colon cancer because of family history or other factors. If not, then no test is needed at this time. If you are at increased risk, talk to your doctor about when you need to begin testing and what tests are right for you.

WOMEN

Breast Cancer Testing
Have a breast exam by a doctor or nurse every three years. Report any breast changes to your doctor or nurse without delay.
Find out if you are at higher than average risk for breast cancer. If not, then no test is needed at this time. If you are, talk to your doctor about when you need to start getting mammograms or other tests.

Cervical Cancer Testing
Have a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years (preferred approach) or Pap test alone every 3 years.
Follow testing recommendations even if you have been vaccinated against HPV.
No testing is needed after a hysterectomy that removed the uterus and cervix if it was done for reasons not related to cervical cancer.

Colon Cancer Testing
Find out if you are at higher than average risk for colon cancer because of family history or other factors. If not, then no test is needed at this time. If you are at increased risk, talk to your doctor about when you need to begin testing and what tests are right for you.

At this age, a cancer-related check-up should be part of your regular health exam and might include exams for cancers of the thyroid, mouth, skin, lymph nodes, testicles, and ovaries.

These special tests for certain cancers are recommended for your age and gender:

MEN

Colon Cancer Testing
Find out if you are at higher than average risk for colon cancer because of family history or other factors. If not, then no test is needed at this time. If you are at increased risk, talk to your doctor about when you need to begin testing and what tests are right for you.

Prostate Cancer Testing
Men at higher than average risk of prostate cancer should talk with their doctor about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of testing beginning at age 45 so they can decide if they want to be tested. This includes African American men and men with close family members (father, brother, son) with prostate cancer.
Men with several close relatives who had prostate cancer before age 65 are at even higher risk and should talk with their doctors beginning at age 40.

WOMEN

Breast Cancer Testing
Have a breast exam by a doctor or nurse every year. Report any breast changes to your doctor or nurse without delay.
Have a mammogram every year. If you are at higher risk for breast cancer than most women, ask a healthcare professional about additional tests.

Cervical Cancer Testing
Have a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years (preferred approach) or Pap test alone every 3 years
Follow testing recommendations even if you have been vaccinated against HPV. No testing is needed after a hysterectomy that removed the uterus and cervix if it was done for reasons not related to cervical cancer.

Colon Cancer Testing
Find out if you are at higher than average risk for colon cancer because of family history or other factors. If not, then no test is needed at this time. If you are at increased risk, talk to your doctor about when you need to begin testing and what tests are right for you.

At this age, a cancer-related check-up should be part of your regular health exam and might include exams for cancers of the thyroid, mouth, skin, lymph nodes, testicles, and ovaries.

These special tests for certain cancers are recommended for your age and gender:

MEN

Colon Cancer Testing
Start testing at age 50. There are several testing options. Talk with a healthcare professional about which tests are best for you and how frequently tests should be done.

Prostate Cancer Testing
Starting at age 50, men should talk with their doctor about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of yearly testing so they can decide if they want to be tested.

WOMEN

Breast Cancer Screening
Have a breast exam by a doctor or nurse every year. Report any breast changes to your doctor or nurse without delay.
Have a mammogram every year. If you are at higher risk for breast cancer than most women, ask a healthcare professional about additional tests.

Cervical Cancer Testing
Have a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years (preferred approach) or Pap test alone every 3 years.
Follow testing recommendations even if you have been vaccinated against HPV. No testing is needed after a hysterectomy that removed the uterus and cervix if it was done for reasons not related to cervical cancer.

Colon Cancer Testing
Start testing at age 50. There are several testing options. Talk with a healthcare professional about which tests are best for you and how frequently tests should be done.

At this age, a cancer-related check-up should be part of your regular health exam and might include exams for cancers of the thyroid, mouth, skin, lymph nodes, testicles, and ovaries.

These special tests for certain cancers are recommended for your age and gender:

MEN

Colon Cancer Testing
Testing is recommended. Talk with a healthcare professional about which tests are best for you and how frequently tests should be done. Testing is covered under Medicare.

Prostate Cancer Testing
Men who can expect to live at least 10 more years should talk with their doctor about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of yearly testing so they can decide if they want to be tested. Testing is covered under Medicare.

WOMEN

Breast Cancer Screening
Have a breast exam by a doctor or nurse every year. Report any breast changes to your doctor or nurse without delay.
Have a mammogram every year. Mammograms are covered under Medicare.
If you are at higher risk for breast cancer than most women, ask a healthcare professional about additional tests.

Cervical Cancer Testing
No testing is needed if you’ve had regular cervical cancer testing with normal results.
No testing is needed after a hysterectomy that removed the uterus and cervix if it was done for reasons not related to cervical cancer.
Women with a history of a serious cervical pre-cancer should continue testing for 20 years after that diagnosis.

Colon Cancer Testing
Testing is recommended. There are several test options. Talk with a healthcare professional about which tests are best for you and how frequently tests should be done. Testing is covered under Medicare.