Cancer Related Guidelines

Cancer-Related Checkups

It seems that everyone you speak to has a horror story to tell about someone they know that has been diagnosed with cancer. With cancer being so prevalent in our society, you would think that people would be concerned with getting cancer-related check-ups, but the reality is that most people avoid many of the life saving tests that are available. Listed below are some easy to follow guidelines of the American Cancer Society for early detection of cancer in people without symptoms. Adhering to the guidelines could save your life.

Age 18 and Older
Cancer-Related Checkup Every 3 Years

Should include the procedures listed below plus health counseling (such as tips on quitting tobacco use) and examinations for cancers of the thyroid, testicles, mouth, ovaries, skin, and lymph nodes. Some people are at higher risk for certain cancers and may need to have tests more frequently.

BREAST

  • Exam by a health care professional every 3 years.
  • Self-exam every month.

 

Uterus

  • Pelvic exam every 1-3 years, with a Pap test.

 

Cervix

  • All women who are, or have been sexually active, or have reached age 18, should have an annual Pap test and pelvic examination.

 

Age 40 & Over
Cancer-Related Checkup Every Year

Should include the procedures listed below plus health counseling (such as tips on quitting tobacco use) and examinations for cancers of the thyroid, testicles, mouth, ovaries, skin, and lymph nodes. Some people are at higher risk for certain cancers and may need to have tests more frequently.

Breast

  • Exam by a health care professional every year.
  • Self-exam every month.
  • Screening mammogram (breast x-ray) every year at age 40.

 

Uterus

  • Pelvic exam every year, with a Pap test.
  • Endometrial tissue sample at menopause, if at high risk.

 

Cervix

  • All women who are, or have been sexually active, or have reached age 18, should have an annual Pap test and pelvic examination.

 

Colon & Rectum

  • Digital rectal exam every year.
  • Stool slide test every year after age 50.
  • Sigmoidoscopy, preferably flexible - every 3 to 5 years after age 50.

 

Prostate

  • Age 50 and over, annual digital rectal exam and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test should be performed every year.

 

Remember these guidelines are not rules and only apply to people without symptoms.

Source: American Cancer Society, Laborers' Health & Safety Fund of North America

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