Open Accessibility Menu

Important Cancer Screenings for Women

  • Category: Blog
  • Posted On:
Important Cancer Screenings for Women

When we make choices to take care of ourselves, it’s normal to focus on the apparent things, such as exercise, nutrition, and hygiene. Yet, it’s difficult to remember the importance of preventive care. Along with annual checkups and dental exams, regular cancer screenings are essential for maintaining our health. For women, there are a few crucial cancer screenings you should consider. Here is a closer look at the important cancer screenings for women.

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Regular screenings can help detect this disease at an early stage when it's most treatable. The American Cancer Society recommends that women between 45 and 54 get a mammogram yearly, while those 55 and older should get one every two years. However, depending on your family history and personal risk factors, your doctor may recommend starting earlier or having them more frequently.

RELATED: Types of Breast Cancer Screenings

Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer screenings involve a Pap smear, which checks for abnormal cells that can lead to cancer, and an HPV test, which looks for the human papillomavirus that can cause these cell changes. The American Cancer Society advises that women should begin cervical cancer screening at age 25. Women aged 25 to 65 should have a primary HPV test every five years. If primary HPV testing is unavailable, screening may be done with either a Pap test every three years or a co-test (an HPV test combined with a Pap test) every five years.

Colon Cancer Screening

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in women. Regular screenings can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before turning into cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screenings at age 45. This can be done either with a sensitive test that looks for signs of cancer in a person’s stool or with an exam that looks at the colon and rectum.

Lung Cancer Screening

While lung cancer is often associated with smoking, non-smokers can also develop the disease. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults aged 50 to 80 years who have a 20-pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. It’s recommended that women regularly examine their skin for any new moles or changes to existing moles and report these to their dermatologist.

The Importance of Regular Check-ups

These screenings are crucial tools in early cancer detection, but they are not replacements for regular check-ups with your healthcare provider. Regular medical care allows your doctor to get a comprehensive picture of your overall health and wellness.

Remember, every woman's risk for cancer is different, influenced by factors such as age, family history, lifestyle habits, and more. Always discuss with your healthcare provider about when and how often you should have these screenings.

Preventive Care at Antelope Valley Medical Center

Preventive care is an investment in your future. By taking charge of your health today through cancer screenings, you can increase your chances of living a long, healthy life. Learn how Antelope Valley Medical Center can help you with preventive care and regular cancer screenings on our site or by calling your primary care physician to set up an appointment.