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Cancer Screening Guidelines

Cancer screening increases the chances of detecting certain cancers early, when they might be easier to treat. CalvertHealth generally recommends following the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines as a framework for decision making. The information below is for individuals with average risk of cancer. It's important to know if you may be at higher than average risk for certain cancers. Your doctor can help you decide what screening plan is right for you.

For women over the age of 40, NCCN guidelines recommend an annual screening mammogram. 3D mammography may improve cancer detection in certain cases.

Beginning at age 21, women should have a Pap test every 3 years. From age 30-65, women should have a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years.

For those at average risk, a screening colonoscopy is recommended beginning at age 45 and as needed thereafter – based on the finding of the first screening through the age of 75.

Current smokers – or those who have quit within the past 15 years – who are ages 50-80 with a greater than 20 pack-year history may benefit from an annual low-dose CT scan.

Men between the ages of 45 and 74 should have a conversation with their health care provider about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening.

While there are no specific age guidelines, most skin cancers can be found early with regular exams. Talk to your doctor about your risk and how often you should have your skin examined.
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