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Important Cancer Screenings

Important Cancer Screenings

Common Tests and Why They’re Important

Cancer is a frightening word for most people. The good news is that successful treatment is possible with early detection. That's why it's crucial to get regular health screenings, even if you don't think you are at risk. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common types of cancer screenings and the right age to start them.


Mammograms are X-rays used to check for breast cancer in women with no signs or symptoms of the disease. The American Cancer Society recommends that women aged 45 to 54 years get this test every year. Women 55 and older should get mammograms every two years or yearly if they have a family history of cancer. St. John's Health offers the option for women 40-44 years to have a mammogram screening every year.

Self-Breast Exams

Self-breast exams are an important way to check for breast cancer. Women of all ages should be familiar with how their breasts usually look and feel so that they can report any changes to their doctor. Additionally, women 20 and older should perform a self-breast exam at least once a month.

Pap Smears

Pap smears are a screening test for cervical cancer that involves collecting cells from the cervix. The best age for women to start pap smears is 21, and they should be done every three years until the age of 29. Women ages 30 and up can continue every three years or have Pap/HPV Cotest every 5 years. These tests can also screen for other conditions such as HPV and changes in the cervix that could lead to cancer.


Colonoscopies are screening tests for colon cancer that involves inserting a camera into the rectum and colon. St. John's Health recommends colonoscopies begin at age 45, with a repeat screening every 10 years. Colonoscopies can also look for other conditions such as polyps, which are growths on the colon lining that could lead to cancer.

Prostate Exams

Prostate exams are screenings for prostate cancer that involves a physical exam and a blood test. The American Cancer Society recommends that men aged 50 and older should talk to their doctor about whether or not to have a prostate exam. Those with an increased risk, such as men with a family history of prostate cancer, should start having exams at an earlier age.

Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT)

Low-dose computed tomography (LCDT) is a type of X-ray used to screen for lung cancer. Doctors recommend that people aged 50 to 80 who have a history of smoking should get an LDCT every year. Those with a family history of lung cancer or other risk factors may need to start screenings earlier.

Compassionate Healthcare in Jackson, WY

Cancer screenings are a vital part of preventive health care. They can help catch cancer early when it is most treatable. Be sure to talk to your doctor about which screenings are right for you and when you should start getting them.

At St. John's Health, we’re committed to providing quality and compassionate healthcare to our patients. To schedule an appointment with our primary care team to discuss these important cancer screenings, please contact us.