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Screening Guidelines & Resources

Early detection is one of the most important steps you can take in the fight against cancer. Why? Because early-stage cancers are generally easier to treat and have a greater chance for a cure. Here is a reference guide to the most common cancers and the current screening recommendations.


These are general guidelines only. If you have a family history of cancer or other factors that put you at high risk, then your doctor will personalize these tests to fit your specific needs.


Breast Cancer

20s & over - Breast self-exam monthly

20s & 30s - Clinical breast exam by physician at least every three years

40 & over - Clinical breast exam by physician annually

40 & over - Mammogram annually


Cervical Cancer

Starting at age 21 or within three years after first sexual intercourse:

Pap test (traditional) annually

Pap test (liquid based) every two years


Endometrial (uterine)

Starting at age 21 - Pelvic exam annually



Starting at age 21 - Pelvic exam annually



Starting at age 50 - One of the following test schedules:


Colonoscopy - Every 10 years

Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) annually

Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years

Yearly FOBT plus flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years

Double-contrast barium enema every five years

CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every five years



Starting at age 50 - PSA blood test and digital rectal exam annually



After puberty - Self exam monthly and physician exam annually (Current guidelines show no value or harm from the self exams and physician exams, but since both are noninvasive and easy to do, it is a harmless way for screening.)


Sources: American Cancer Society; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation



Helpful Links


Radiation Oncology

American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology


Breast Cancer

Women’s Cancer Resource Center


Susan G. Komen Foundation


General Oncology

American Cancer Society


Cancer Education

National Cancer Institute

American Society of Clinical Oncology

Myriad Genetics



Cancer Support Community of North Texas/Gilda's Club

Center for Advancement in Cancer Education

cleaningforareason.org (provides free house cleaning to women with any type of cancer)

National Lymphedema Network

Mesothelioma Cancer



Livestrong Foundation

National Society of Genetic Counselors



Cancer Services

Methodist Richardson Cancer Center

Methodist Richardson Hematology Oncology Associates - Dr. Sam Bibawi and Dr. Alan Trumbly

Methodist Richardson Breast Surgeons – Jenevieve Hughes, MD

Asian Breast Health Outreach Project


The medical information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for a consultation with a physician. None of the websites listed are monitored or reviewed nor is any of the content on such websites checked for accuracy by Medhealth, Methodist Health System, or Methodist Richardson Medical Center.


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