Know your screenings

Preventive screenings have been a hot topic lately, which can lead to confusion. Providence Health Plans doesn’t want you to skip an important screening because of uncertainty. We recommend the following screenings for women and men:

Screenings for women

Cervical cancer

  • Why should I get screened? Abnormal cells found can be treated before they become cancer. When found early enough, survival rates are 90 percent.
  • When should I get screened? This screening is done during your Pap test. Women ages 21 to 29 should have a screening every two years. Women age 30 and older may be screened every three years if there have been three consecutive negative screening results. Some women may not need to have regular screenings based on their medical history.

Breast cancer

  • Why should I get screened? Breast cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer among women in the U.S. Screening mammograms are the best method of early detection.
  • When should I get screened? Women ages 50-74 should get a screening mammogram every two years. Women under age 50 should talk to their doctor to decide if mammography is right for them.

Colorectal cancer

  • Why should I get screened? Polyps, a small clump of cells, can be found and removed before they turn into cancer.
  • When should I get screened? Beginning at age 50 you should have a fecal occult blood test every year or flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years or colonoscopy every 10 years, until age 75.

Screenings for men

Prostate cancer

  • Why should I get screened? Three in 100 men will develop prostate cancer. Discuss with your doctor your screening options based on your medical and family history.
  • When should I get screened? You should have this conversation if you are age 40 or older.

Colorectal cancer

  • Why should I get screened? Polyps, a small clump of cells, can be found and removed before they turn into cancer.
  • When should I get screened? Beginning at age 50 you should have a fecal occult blood test every year or flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years or colonoscopy every 10 years until age 75.

Talk to your provider to determine when and what you should be screened for.