When should you have different cancer screenings? To help you keep track, we’ve put together a list of cancer screenings you should have and when to have them.

When You Should Get Cancer Screenings

Cancer Screened ForCancer Screening TestWhen to Start Screening
Breast CancerMammogram  
  • At 40 women should start having a mammogram each year. 
  • Your doctor may suggest earlier or more frequent mammograms depending on your risk factors or symptoms.
Cervical CancerPap Test
  • At 21 women should start having a Pap test every two to three years (if the test is normal) until age 65.
  • Talk with your doctor about a recommended screening schedule for you.
Colon Cancer
  • Colonoscopy
  • Fecal Occult Blood Test
  • At 45 for a colonoscopy, then every 10 years.
  • Fecal occult blood tests annually starting at 45.
  • Talk with your doctor about starting earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer or symptoms.
Lung CancerLung Cancer Screening (Low Dose CT)
  • Recommended for people 50 to 74 who have smoked at least 20 pack-years (i.e., 1 pack per day for 20 years or 2 packs per day for 10).
Prostate CancerPSA Test (Prostate Specific Antigen)
  • Every man over the age of 50 should consider prostate cancer screening.
  • If you have a family history of the disease or are African American, talk with your doctor about whether you should start earlier.
  • Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of PSA screening.
Skin CancerVisual assessment by dermatologist or primary care physician  
  • 20 – 39 every 3 years by a doctor.
  • At 40, every year by a doctor.
  • Conduct regular self-exams of your moles to look for changes.
  • If you have a family history of skin cancer or many moles, talk with your doctor about a recommended schedule for skin cancer screening.

Talk to Your Doctor About Which Screenings Are Right for You

The above are guidelines based on expert sources, including our physicians, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

We recommend you discuss with your doctor a screening schedule that takes into account your family history and specific risk factors for different cancers.

Cancer Screening Programs and Services