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.
Screening for Breast, Cervical, Colorectal (Colon), and Lung Cancers
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. For more information, visit Breast Cancer: What Screening Tests Are There?
The Pap test can find abnormal cells in the cervix which may turn into cancer. Pap tests also can find cervical cancer early, when the chance of being cured is very high. For more information, visit Cervical Cancer: What Should I Know About Screening?
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 (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. For more information, visit Colorectal Cancer: What Should I Know About Screening?
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. For more information, visit Lung Cancer: What Screening Tests Are There?
Screening for Ovarian, Prostate, and Skin Cancers
Screening for ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers has not been shown to reduce deaths from those cancers.
There is no evidence that any screening test reduces deaths from ovarian cancer. For more information, visit Ovarian Cancer: What Should I Know About Screening?
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against prostate specific antigen (PSA)-based screening for men who have no symptoms. For more information, visit Should I Get Screened for Prostate Cancer?
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has concluded that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against routine screening (total-body examination by a clinician) to find skin cancers early. For more information, visit Skin Cancer: What Screening Tests Are There?