Prevention and Wellness

Cancer Screenings Boost Your Odds of Survival

You're a healthy adult with no history of cancer in your family. Cancer screening tests are for other people, right? Wrong.

Most cancers are not genetically based, which means that you can get the disease, even if there's no history of it in your family. And, the sooner you start regular screening, the greater your odds of beating cancer if it ever occurs. That's because early diagnosis often comes with more effective treatment options.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that people age 40 and older undergo a checkup and several simple screening tests every year in order to catch any cancers at an earlier, more curable stage. People at increased risk for cancer may require more frequent screening. Your doctor can help you assess your risk and decide the best screening schedule for you.

More information recommended cancer screening guidelines

As part of your annual checkup, your doctor should:

  • Ask about your work, family, and personal health histories
  • Check for signs of cancer by observing and feeling different parts of your body, such as your:
    • Mouth
    • Thyroid
    • Lymph nodes
    • Skin
    • Rectum
    • Breasts
    • Testicles
    • Prostate

Between checkups, you should check your own body for signs of cancer. Your doctor can tell you what you should look for.

Prevention is Key to Lifelong Health

Ask your doctor for help in assessing your risk for disease and determining the best screening schedule and check out our Believe in Better Health Healthy Guidelines, suggested age-appropriate screening schedules for men and women.

For help finding a doctor who's right for you, search our physician database