Cancer Screening Tests

Last Modified: March 22, 2012

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Question

What is meant by "cancer screening tests"? Who should get them?

Answer

Gloria DiLullo, MSN, CRNP, OncoLink Content Specialist, responds:

Cancer screening tests are designed to find cancer or pre-cancerous areas before there are any symptoms and, generally, when treatments are most successful. Various organizations have developed guidelines for cancer screening for both men and women. In addition, during routine health exams (at any age) your healthcare provider may also evaluate for cancers of the skin, mouth, thyroid and ovaries. Not all screening tests are right for everyone and your personal and family health history can affect which tests are right for you, so be sure to discuss this with your healthcare provider.

For women, some screening tests begin in the teens or 20s and screen for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. Screening tests for men begin after age 50s and screen for prostate and colorectal cancers.

Learn more about screening tests.

Visit the American Cancer Society to learn more about general cancer screening test recommendations

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Cancer Risk & Prevention Webchat transcript.