Cancer Screenings Every Woman Should Get

A guide to the tests you need and when to get them

Women in their 20s and 30s:

  • Women should have a breast exam by a doctor or nurse about every 3 years to look for breast cancer and should know how their breasts normally look and feel so they can report any changes to their doctor.
  • All women should begin cervical cancer testing about 3 years after they begin having vaginal intercourse, but no later than 21 years old. Testing should be done every year with the regular Pap test or every 2 years using the newer liquid-based Pap test.

Women in their 40s:

  • Breast cancer testing for this age group should include a breast exam each year and a yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health. 
  • At menopause, all women should be informed about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer and should report any unexpected bleeding or spotting.

Women over 50:

  • Women over the age of 50 should be tested for colon cancer. A doctor can help determine which recommended screening tests and methods are the best fit.
  • Women over 50 should also get regular mammograms and cervical cancer screening tests.

Some women may want to start testing for cancer a little earlier depending on their family and medical history.

Helping the women you love find and get the right cancer screening tests can have a positive impact on their health. Isn’t that a gift worth giving?

Go to the American Cancer Society to learn more about recommended cancer screening tests.

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