Because cancer is more easily treated and cured if detected early, the Baptist Cancer Center and American Cancer Society recommend the following cancer screning guidelines.
Recommended Breast Screenings for Women
|Beginning at Age 20
- Monthly - breast self-examination the week following your monthly menstrual period
- Every 3 Years - a clinical breast exam performed by a medical professional
|Beginning at Age 40
- Yearly - annual mammogram
- Yearly - a clinical breast exam performed by a medical professional
- Monthly - continue breast self-examinations
Recommended Colon/Rectal Screenings for Men and Women
|Beginning at Age 50, both men and women should follow one of these five screening schedules
- Yearly - fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochecmical test (FIT). These are simple, non-invasive tests that can be done at home. The tests detect hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early indicator of colorectal disease.
- Every 5 Years - flexible sigmoidoscopy. Physicians use a slender, lighted tube to spot colon abnormalities.
- Every 5 Years - double contrast barium enema. In this x-ray procedure, medical professionals improve views of the colon with barium and air.
- Every 10 Years - colonoscopy
Recommended Prostate Screenings for Men
|Beginning at Age 50 (at age 40 if you have an immediate relative with prostate cancer)
- Yearly - PSA (prostate-specific antigen) Blood Test. PSA is a protein produced by both normal and cancerous cells. A high PSA level can be a sign of cancer.
- Yearly - digital rectal examination performed by a medical professional.
People who have an increased risk for certain cancers may need to follow a more frequent screening schedule and may need to begin screenings at an earlier age. Those with sympotoms that could be related to cancer should see their doctor right away.