Screeningexternal icon 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 Forceexternal icon (USPSTF).
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.
Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
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 USPSTF 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.
Screening for Other Kinds of Cancer
Screening for ovarian,external icon pancreatic,external icon prostate,external icon testicular,external icon and thyroidexternal icon cancers has not been shown to reduce deaths from those cancers. The USPSTF found insufficient evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for bladder cancerexternal icon and oral cancerexternal icon in adults without symptoms, and of visual skin examination by a doctor to screen for skin cancerexternal icon in adults.