Cancer Screening Guidelines

Cancer screening is a critical part of proactively managing your health; it might be time for you to add regular screening to your annual health checkups.

Huntington's Cancer Committee has developed these cancer screening guidelines, bringing together the most up-to-date recommendations from the American Cancer Society and other leading cancer authorities.

Explore the guidelines by clicking the cancer types to read the full recommendations.

Screening Guidelines

Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

Recommendations

The American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) now call for all women to have a risk assessment at age 30 to see if screening earlier than age 40 is needed. The ACR recommends annual mammography screening starting at age 40 for women of average risk of developing breast cancer.

Higher-risk women should start mammographic screening earlier and may benefit from supplemental screening modalities.

  • For women with genetics-based increased risk (and their untested first-degree relatives), with a calculated lifetime risk of 20% or more or a history of chest or mantle radiation therapy at a young age, supplemental screening with contrast-enhanced breast MRI is recommended.
  • Breast MRI is also recommended for women with personal histories of breast cancer and dense tissue, or those diagnosed by age 50.
  • Others with histories of breast cancer and those with atypia at biopsy should consider additional surveillance with MRI, especially if other risk factors are present.

Source: American College of Radiology (ACR), Society of Breast Imaging (SBI)

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, please visit our Huntington Breast Cancer page for more information about our expert cancer support from treatment through recovery.

Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines

Recommendations

Begin screening at age 21

AGE / POPULATION Guidelines
21 - 29 years of age Cytology every 3 years (liquid or conventional. Recommend against an annual Pap smear.
30 - 65 years of age Co-testing with cytology and HPV testing every 5 years (preferred) or every 3 years with cytology alone (acceptable).
Older than 65 years of age Discontinue if no history of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or higher in past 20 years and 3 negative Pap smear results or 2 negative HPV test results in past 10 years, if most recent test was within past 5 years.
Women who have undergone hysterectomy Discontinue if hysterectomy was for benign reason.
Women who have received the HPV vaccination Same as for unvaccinated women

Source: The American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Prevention and Early Detection of Cervical Cancer, American Society for Coloscopy and Cervical Pathology, American Society for Clinical Pathology

If you have been diagnosed with cervical cancer, please visit our Huntington Gynecological Cancer page for more information about our expert cancer support from treatment through recovery.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines

Recommendations

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that adults aged 45 and older with an average risk of colorectal cancer undergo regular screening with either a high-sensitivity stool-based test or a structural (visual) examination, depending on patient preference and test availability.

As a part of the screening process, all positive results on non-colonoscopy screening tests should be followed up with timely colonoscopy.

The ACS recommends that average-risk adults in good health with a life expectancy of greater than 10 years, continue colorectal cancer screening through the age of 75. The ACS recommends that clinicians individualize colorectal cancer (CRC) screening decisions for individuals aged 76 through 85 based on patient preferences, life expectancy, health status, and prior screening history. The ACS recommends that clinicians discourage individuals over age 85 from continuing colorectal cancer screening.

Options for CRC screening

Stool-based tests:

  • Fecal immunochemical test every year
  • High-sensitivity, guaiac-based fecal occult blood test every year
  • Multitarget stool DNA test every 3 years

Structural examinations:

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • CT colonography every 5 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years

These recommendations represent guidance from the ACS for persons without a history of adenomatous polyps or colorectal cancer and not at increased risk for colorectal cancer due to a family history of colorectal cancer, a confirmed or suspected hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, a personal history of abdominal or pelvic radiation for a previous cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease.

Source: American Cancer Society (ACS)

If you have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, please visit our Huntington Colorectal Cancer page for more information about our expert cancer support from treatment through recovery.

Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines

Recommendations

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography for those who qualify.

Qualified Patients

  • Aged 55 to 80 years old
  • 30 or more packs a year smoking history
  • Currently smoke of have quit within the past 15 years
  • Showing no sign of respiratory/breathing issues
  • Ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery

Source: United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)

If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, please visit our Huntington Lung Cancer page for more information about our expert cancer support from treatment through recovery.

Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines

Recommendations

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening. Men should not be screened unless they have received this information. The discussion about screening should take place at:

  • Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
  • Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
  • Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).

After this discussion, men who want to be screened should be tested with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as a part of screening.

If, after this discussion, a man is unable to decide if testing is right for him, the screening decision can be made by the health care provider, who should take into account the man’s general health preferences and values.

If no prostate cancer is found as a result of screening, the time between future screenings depends on the results of the PSA blood test:

  • Men who choose to be tested who have a PSA of less than 2.5 ng/mL may only need to be retested every 2 years.
  • Screening should be done yearly for men whose PSA level is 2.5 ng/mL or higher.

Source: American Cancer Society (ACS)

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, please visit our Huntington Prostate Cancer page for more information about our expert cancer support from treatment through recovery.