Talk with your doctor about when and how often you should be screened. Depending on your personal health history, family health history, or screening results, your doctor may recommend a different screening schedule.
Screening means checking your body for cancer before you have symptoms. Getting screening tests regularly may find breast, cervical, and colorectal (colon) cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best. Lung cancer screening is recommended for some people who are at high risk.
Recommended Screening Tests
CDC supports screening for breast, cervical, colorectal (colon), and lung cancers as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat.
The Pap test can find abnormal cells in the cervix which may turn into cancer. The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes. Pap tests also can find cervical cancer early, when the chance of being cured is very high.
CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program offers free or low-cost mammograms and Pap tests nationwide. Find out if you qualify.
Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for people who have a history of heavy smoking, and smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years, and are between 55 and 80 years old.