Get Screenings and Catch Cancer Early

Don’t wait for symptoms when it comes to cancer screenings. Screenings can detect cancerous cells in your body even if those cells haven’t yet affected you enough to show symptoms. And the earlier you can treat cancerous cells, the more likely you will have a better outcome. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss what screenings and exams you need and when you need them.

By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health, and family history, lifestyle choices (i.e., what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other important factors impact how often you need healthcare and what kind you need.

Woman stretching

Be aware of these key screenings.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal cancer is one of the most treatable and preventable cancers — but only if it’s caught early.

  • Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended beginning at age 50. Unfortunately, only one-half of adults have gotten a screening test in their early 50s (age 50–54). Don’t be a statistic! If you’re over 50, schedule a screening now.
  • There are six different screening tests. Some of those screenings can even be done at home. Other screenings are done in a clinic or at your healthcare provider’s office.

Breast Cancer Screening

  • The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women 50 to 74 years old and are at average risk for breast cancer get a mammogram every two years. Women who are 40 to 49 years old should talk to their doctor or other healthcare professional about when to start and how often they should get a mammogram.
  • Women should weigh the benefits and risks of screening tests when deciding whether to begin getting mammograms before age 50.
  • Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early.

Cervical Cancer Screening

You should start getting Pap tests at age 21. If your Pap test result is normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait three years until your next Pap test.

If you are 30 to 65 years old, talk to your doctor about which testing option is right for you.

Here are some possible options:

  • A Pap test only.

    If your result is normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait three years until your next Pap test.

  • An HPV test only.

    This is called primary HPV testing. If your result is normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait five years until your next screening test.

  • An HPV test along with the Pap test.

    This is called co-testing. If both of your results are normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait five years until your next screening test.

Take time for your health.

Talk to your doctor about the best tests for you based on your personal health history— then get them done.

Capital BlueCross’ preventive care schedule can help.


Source: “Cancer Screening Tests | CDC.” CDC.Gov, www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/prevention/screening.htm. Accessed 10 July 2020.

The information provided is meant for a general audience. Capital BlueCross and its affiliated companies believe this health education resource provides useful information but does not assume any liability associated with its use.