Table 1

Current standard cancer screening guidelines from three nationally recognized institues

Cancer TypeAmerican Cancer Society*National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)§US Preventative Services Taskforce (USPSTF)¶
Breast‘Women ages 40–44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (X-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so. Women ages 45–54 should get mammograms every year. Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.’‘Women with average risk between the ages of 25 and 39: The NCCN panel recommends a clinical encounter, which includes ongoing breast cancer risk assessment, risk reduction counselling, as well as a clinical breast exam every 1–3 years, and encouraging women to be aware of their breasts and promptly report any changes to their healthcare provider’.‘The US Preventative Services Taskforce (USPSTF) recommends biennial screening mammography for women aged 50–74 years.’
Cervical‘Cervical cancer screening should start at age 25. People under age 25 should not be tested because cervical cancer is rare in this age group. People between the ages of 25 and 65 should get a primary HPV (human papillomavirus) test* done every 5 years. If a primary human papillomavirus (HPV) test is not available, a co-test (an HPV test with a Pap test) every 5 years or a Pap test every 3 years are still good options.’‘The USPSTF recommends screening for cervical cancer every 3 years with cervical cytology alone in women aged 21–29 years. For women aged 30–65 years, the USPSTF recommends screening every 3 years with cervical cytology alone, every 5 years with high-risk HPV (hrHPV) testing alone, or every 5 years with hrHPV testing in combination with cytology (cotesting).’
Colorectal‘For people at average risk for colorectal cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends starting regular screening at age 45. If you’re in good health, you should continue regular screening through age 75.’‘It is recommended that screening for persons at average risk begin at 45 years of age after available options have been discussed.’‘The USPSTF recommends screening for colorectal cancer in adults aged 45–49 years.’
Prostate‘Starting at age 50, men should talk to a healthcare provider about the pros and cons of testing so they can decide if testing is the right choice for them. If you are African American or have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, you should have this talk with a healthcare provider starting at age 45.’‘The panel recommends that baseline postate-specific antigen testing should be offered to healthy, well informed, average risk individuals aged 40–75 years based on the results of randomized clinical trials.’