Are you of age? Then it’s time to start making your cancer screening appointments

If you haven’t scheduled your cancer screenings for this year, here is a friendly reminder

You probably already have your doctor and dentist appointments planned for the year. If you’re unsure if you should begin scheduling certain cancer screenings this year, we are here to help. Every individual’s cancer screening needs are different. Screening experts at Karmanos Cancer Institute and nearby McLaren facilities will work with your healthcare provider to ensure you get the necessary screenings.

To help you get a good idea of when you should begin certain cancer screenings and if you should be scheduling one this year, here is a list by age.

21 – 65 years old

Cervical cancer screening

When it comes to cervical cancer screening, women should start receiving a Papanicolaou (Pap) test, human papillomavirus (HPV) test, or both at age 21. The American Cancer Society recommends the following testing at each age:

  • 21-29: Pap test every three years.
  • 30-65: Pap test and an HPV test every five years.
  • Over 65 without abnormal test results: No need for screening.
  • Over 65 with a new partner: Talk with your OBGYN. Screening could be recommended.
  • Women who have had a hysterectomy do not need to be screened.

Cervical cancer screenings are conducted by obstetrician gynecologists (OBGYN). For a list of McLaren OBGYN specialists in your area, click here.

40 years +

Breast cancer screening

Women with an average risk of developing breast cancer should begin screening at age 40 and continue receiving mammograms annually. Women who are high risk or have a family history of breast cancer may need to screen at a younger age and possibly more than once a year. It is recommended that women whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer start screening 10 years before the age their mother was diagnosed. If you are informed that you have dense breasts, you may need an adjunct breast screening along with your routine mammogram.

Talk to your women’s wellness specialist about your breast cancer risk. Routine mammograms do not require a physician referral. To schedule a breast screening near you, click here.

45 years +

Colorectal cancer screening

The only cancer screening that can get rid of cancer before it develops is a colonoscopy, which allows a gastroenterologist to eradicate polyps before they become cancerous. If you are at average risk for colorectal cancer, you can start getting this screening at 45. If everything looks normal, you may not need another screening for 10 years. If you are at high risk, have a family history, genetic factor, or inflammatory bowel disease, you should talk to your primary care physician about when to start screening for colorectal cancer.

Find information about colorectal cancer screening locations near you here.

50 years + (Age 45 for African American men)

Prostate cancer screening

Men should talk with their healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening. If you are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, have a family history, especially a father, brother, or son diagnosed before age 65, or are African American, you will want to have that conversation with your physician before or at age 45.

For more information about prostate cancer screenings, click here.

50 – 80 years old

Lung cancer screening

If you’re 50 and are a smoker or former smoker, it’s time to start annual screening for lung cancer. Cigarette smoke is the leading risk factor for lung cancer, so this screening is vital for people who quit within the past 15 years and have a 20-pack-year smoking history. It is recommended that smokers and past smokers continue screening for lung cancer until they turn 80.

Karmanos and many McLaren hospitals across Michigan have a lung cancer screening program for high-risk people. Click here to find a location that offers lung cancer screening near you.

Additional cancer screenings

Karmanos and McLaren also offer access to additional cancer screening, such as head and neck, skin and ovarian cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if you need these screenings. You can schedule them at a Karmanos or McLaren location near you.