Cancer Screening Recommendations
Guidelines are based on national recommendations.
Sharp has developed these cancer prevention guidelines to help our patients understand what screenings are needed and at what age. These are general guidelines based on recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Forces, the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Family Physicians and other leading experts.
Keep in mind that these recommendations are for healthy adults who do not have symptoms or other risk factors, and therefore it is important to consult with your physician regarding your personal medical history and risk factors to determine what screenings are right for you.
Combined with a healthy lifestyle and regular self-examination, cancer screenings are an important tool in the prevention and detection of cancer. Because cancer is most treatable in its beginning stages, early detection can considerably increase one's chances of survival. That's why we encourage everyone to learn more about the importance of cancer screenings and prevention.
Our cancer screenings are an important tool.
- Clinical breast exam — initial examination should be given with history and physical at age 40 and then every year depending on the risk factors; at age 70 examination should be given based on physician recommendation
- Mammogram — initial examination should be given with history and physical at age 40 and then every year depending on risk factors, at age 70 mammogram should be given based on physician recommendation
- Pap smear — initial examination should be given with history and physical at age 21 or onset of sexual activity and then every 1 to 3 years; after age 65, Pap smear should be given based on physician recommendation
- Bimanual examination (ovaries and uterus) — initial examination should be given with history and physical at age 18 and then every 1 to 3 years; at age 40 examination should be done yearly
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy — initial examination should be given at age 50 and then every 5 years
- Hemoccult — initial examination should be given with history and physical at age 50 and then yearly
- Prostate examination — initial examination should be given with history and physical at age 50 and then yearly; depending on your risk factors, a prostate antigen test may also be recommended
Many of these screenings can be done during a regular office visit and don't necessarily have to be done in conjunction with a history and physical. If you have concerns, ask your doctor if these screenings can be performed during your next office visit.
What you can do.
In addition to the cancer screenings above, we recommend that all patients perform routine breast, oral cavity, skin and testicular self-examinations periodically as advised by their physician.
How you can make these guidelines work for you.
Theses clinical guidelines are designed to assist clinicians in the evaluation and treatment of the more common medical problems. They are not intended to replace clinical judgment or establish a protocol for all patients. The clinical approach described by these guidelines will not fit all patients and will rarely establish the only appropriate approach to a problem.
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