They say you shouldn’t treat doctors’ offices like repair shops, waiting until there’s something wrong before you go in. Staying on top of your health by getting regular cancer screenings helps you spot a potential problem before it is too late.
This is especially important when it comes to cancer, particularly because Kentucky has the highest cancer death rate in the U.S.
5 Major Cancer Screenings and When You Should Get Them
If you’ve been slacking on your screenings, now is a great time to get them scheduled. Here’s a helpful list of screenings to discuss with your doctor.
Cervical Cancer. A Pap smear or Pap test is the best way to detect cervical cancer in women. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends women 21 and older receive a Pap test every three years.
Colon Cancer. Screening colonoscopy is recommended before the age of 45 in patients with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps. Colonoscopy screening age was changed to 45 and insurances were mandated to cover procedures on January 1, 2020. If a patient has a first-degree relative (brother, sister, biological parent or child diagnosed with colon cancer, they should have their colonoscopy at 40 years of age or 10 years less than the earliest age diagnosed, depending on which comes first.
Lung Cancer. Nearly 27% of Kentuckians are smokers. Since cigarette smoking is the No. 1 risk factor for lung cancer, if you’re a smoker or recently quit and are between the ages of 55 and 74, this screening is especially important.
Breast Cancer. The ACS recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 40, but guidelines vary based on family history and other risk factors, so talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
Prostate Cancer. Screening with PSA testing (prostate-specific antigen) usually begins in healthy men at age 50, or earlier in men with above-average risk such as strong family history.
Screening is not prevention, so everyone needs to examine and modify their risk factors for cancer and heart disease like exercise and diet.
Schedule Your Cancer Screening with a Baptist Health Provider
Being health aware isn’t just about eating well or staying active. It’s also about knowing your potential risks. Our free health risk assessments are used to provide you with an evaluation of your health risk today, 5 years down the road, 10 years down the road, or for a lifetime.