Recommendations Regarding Cancer Screening
by the American Cancer Society3
Women Ages 20-39 -
Women Ages 40 and older -
If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, discuss mammography screening guidelines and scheduling with your health care provider. Contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or ask your doctor or nurse if you have questions about how to perform breast self-examination.
Colon & Rectal Cancer:
Women and Men ages 50 and older - follow one of the examination schedules below -
A digital rectal exam should be done at the same time as a sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or double-contrast barium enema.
If you are at moderate or high risk for colorectal cancer, talk with a doctor about a different testing schedule.
Because there is currently debate about the appropriate screening recommendations, several agency recommendations are presented below.
The American Cancer Society
Recommends that patients seek the advice of their physician in making a decision whether to be screened. The following are the screening guidelines.
Age 50 and older
For men at high risk including African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer (age to be determined by the physician)
New Jersey Prostate Cancer Summit
Age 50 and older who have at least a 10-year life expectancy
Men at high risk (including African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer) should begin screening at a younger age to be decided on with their physician.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Both agencies do not recommend routine screening, but stress that patients who request screening be given objective information about early detection and the potential benefits and risks of screening.
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
The screening tests should include DRE at a minimum and may include PSA. All men considering or having the screening tests should be fully informed about the benefits and risks of screening.
Women sexually active or ages 18 and older -
If three or more consecutive examinations are normal, the Pap test may be done less frequently; discuss this with a physician.
Women at high risk for cancer of the uterus should have a sample of endometrial tissue examined when menopause begins.
A cancer-related checkup is recommended every 3 years for people ages 20-40 and every year for people age 40 and older. This exam should include health counseling and, depending on the person's age, might include examinations for cancers of the thyroid, oral cavity, skin, lymph nodes, testes, and ovaries, as well as for some nonmalignant diseases.