The main reason why people go for cancer screening is to detect cancer at its earliest stages where it’s still small and confined. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), early diagnosis increases the chances of cancer cure, which is why it’s highly recommended. But then, at what age should these screenings start? Well, the age to which screening can start depends on a number of factors, including the type of cancer, genetics, gender, and lifestyle. The following are different types of cancer and the best-recommended age at which screening should begin.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in America and the world at large. Since this type of cancer is highly prevalent in older women, doctors now recommend mammogram screening to begin at 40 to 44 years. After the screening, you are advised to have the subsequent screening at an interval of 1 to 2 years. Also, women should note any unusual pain or lump in their breasts and promptly report to a healthcare provider.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer, sometimes known as colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the large intestine and the rectum. According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer screening should start at 45. This, however, only applies to average-risk individuals. If your family has a history of this type of cancer, then the screening can start earlier. Colon cancer has several screening options, including colonoscopy, CT colonography, Cologuard testing, and fecal immunochemical testing.

Prostate Cancer

Generally, men are known to show little involvement in health matters. For this reason, prostate cancer has continued to be a menace among male populations. To address this problem, doctors now recommend that men with average risk start prostate cancer testing at 50. Depending on the prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) obtained from the test, you should then continue with regular screenings at an interval of 1 to 2 years.

Lung Cancer

Of all the cancer cases, lung cancer claims about 13% in the US alone. Therefore, as one of the leading cancer cases, early screening is always advisable for an effective cure. Note that lung cancer screening should start at 55 years. However, high-risk patients, such as those with a 20-year pack or smoking history, should even begin early. Before you get screened, be sure to talk to your doctor. They will be able to determine if such procedures are best for you.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer screening can be done using a pap test or HPV test. For most women, it is recommended that they start screening as early as 20 years. This screening should be done at a frequency of 3 years till you reach 65 years old.

Final Thoughts

The age at which a patient can start cancer screening depends on the type of cancer and other risk factors such as age and family history. Since early detection leads to an efficient cure, it’s essential you visit healthcare centers for screening, especially for high-risk individuals.