Cancer Screening for Women


Cancer Screening



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


Cervical cancer

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


Breast cancer

CBE and mammogram every year


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


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