It’s no secret that regular cancer screenings can help catch many types of cancer before they become a bigger problem. But how often should your patients be getting screened for cancer? And what cancers should your patients be getting checked for?
Below, you’ll find the latest information from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on common cancer screenings. Use these screening recommendations as a refresher to ensure your patients maintain optimal health:
Breast cancer: The USPSTF recommends biennial screening mammography for women aged 50 to 74 years. The decision to start regular, biennial screening mammography before the age of 50 should be an individual one that takes into account its benefits versus its risks.
Cervical cancer: According to USPSTF, women between the ages of 21 and 65 years should be screened with cytology (Pap smear) every three years. Women between the ages of 30 and 65 years who want to lengthen the screening interval can be screened with a combination of cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every five years.
Colon cancer: Per USPSTF recommendations, all individuals should be screened for colon cancer starting at age 50. Screening intervals depend on the diagnostic test used (colonoscopy, etc.). For patients of average risk who refuse a colonoscopy, Quest Lab’s Insure FOBT kit can be utilized annually.
Lung cancer: Annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) is recommended in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
Prostate cancer: Instead of routine screening, the USPSTF says that clinicians discuss the potential benefits and harm of screening with men between age 55 and 69 and make an individualized decision about the need for PSA testing. The American Urological Association specifically recommends against using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing to screen for prostate cancer in men over age 70.
For more information on these cancer screening recommendations, visit the official USPSTF website.