Cancer Screening for Women

 Age

 Recommended
 Cancer Screening  

 Procedures

 21-29 

 Cervical cancer

 Cancer screening with regular Pap every three years. 
 Human papilloma virus (HPV) is not necessary unless   
 as indicated by an abnormal Pap result.

 

 Breast cancer

 Clinical breast exam (CBE) every 3 years
 Breast self-exam (BSE), optional

 30+

 Cervical cancer

 Cancer screening plus HPV test every 5 years,
 preferred.
 Pap test alone every 3 years is acceptable.

 40+

 Breast cancer

 CBE and mammogram every year

 50+

 Colorectal cancer
 and polyps

Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years (if result positive, 
 then colonoscopy should be performed)
 Colonoscopy every 10 years OR
 Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years OR
 CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years

 65+

 Depending on
 testing results

 If regular cervical cancer testing is normal, no need
 to be tested. Women with history of abnormal results
 should be tested for at least 20 years after diagnosis.

Additional Recommendations and Optional Tests

Your doctor will discuss with you whether you need additional tests and if so, when you should begin them. Learn more about cancer prevention for women:

Other tests your doctor may want to order include:

Breast Cancer Screening

For a small percentage of women with a family history of breast cancer or certain other risk factors, the American Cancer Society recommends a cancer screening with MRI in addition to a mammogram. Learn more about breast cancer prevention.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Women who have had a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) may choose to stop having Pap tests. If the cervix was not removed during the hysterectomy, Pap tests should continue as recommended above. Learn more about gynecologic cancer prevention.

NOTE: If a hysterectomy was performed as treatment for cervical or pre-cancer, Pap tests should also continue as recommended above.

Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer Screening

The American Cancer Society recommends that at the time of menopause, all women should be informed about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer, a type of gynecological cancer. Women should report any unexpected bleeding or spotting to their doctors. Depending on your health history, we may recommend having a yearly cancer screening with endometrial biopsy.

For women who have a family history of cancer and/or certain risk factors, we may recommend earlier cancer screenings or a varied schedule. Talk to your doctor about your complete health history and decide together what is right for you. Learn more about gynecologic cancer prevention.

Risk is Revealing

Cancer threatens some more than others. Take our quick online health risk assessments to learn your personal cancer risk factors. Learn more or register for an event