Cancer is most easily beaten when diagnosed early. Your commitment to regular visits with your primary care provider and recommended annual screenings is the first step toward prevention.
A screening is a test that checks for early signs of cancer. Annual screenings are recommended for several types of cancer.
Breast Cancer Screenings
Yearly mammograms are recommended for all women over the age of 40. If you are at increased risk for breast cancer, you should talk with your doctor about the benefits of starting mammography screening at an earlier age.
Cervical Cancer Screenings
The American Cancer Society recommends that women should begin annual Pap test screening at the age of 18 or when they become sexually active, whichever happens first.
Colorectal Cancer Screenings
The American Cancer Society recommends an annual digital rectal examination for men and women over the age of 40, as well as an annual Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). A sigmoidoscopy is recommended for men and women over the age of 50 every three to five years.
Prostate Cancer Screenings
The American Cancer Society and the American Urological Association recommend an annual prostate screening for men over the age of 50. African-American men and all men with a family history of prostate cancer should consider screening annually beginning at age 40.
Skin Cancer Screenings
It is recommended to have regular skin checks by a doctor or nurse who will check the skin for moles, birthmarks, or other pigmented areas that look abnormal in color, size, shape, or texture. Each May, Mid Coast Hospital holds a free community skin cancer screening aimed at promoting early detection and prevention of skin cancer.