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3 surprising facts about health screenings

Aging Well | Wellness | November 2, 2020
Doctor talks with a woman patient in exam room
Preventive care makes a significant difference. Learn more about a few of the most common screenings.

Proven preventive screenings are vital to maintaining good health, especially as you get older. Make sure the three below are checked off your list in accordance with the screening guidelines provided for each. If you’re due for a preventive screening, click here to locate and contact your provider to schedule an appointment.

Cervical Cancers

Did you know?

Having a hysterectomy doesn’t always eliminate the need for ongoing cervical cancer screenings. Exceptions include women who have had a hysterectomy without removal of the cervix, or who have had a “total” hysterectomy performed specifically to treat cervical pre-cancer or cancer.

Effectiveness

Only a half century ago, cervical cancer killed more women in the United States than any other type of cancer. Thanks in part to widespread Pap testing, which finds cervical changes before they become cancerous, major declines have been achieved in cervical cancer incidence and death rates.

Screening Guidelines

Women ages 21–29 should have a Pap test every three years. Women ages 30 and older should consult with their physician about the frequency and types of cervical cancer screening – Pap and/or HPV – that is right for them.

PeaceHealth’s Checkup Challenge encourages you to prioritize your health by scheduling a checkup with your primary provider. During your appointment, you can talk about the screenings recommended for you.

Breast Cancer

Did you know? 

Mammography became available as a screening test in the 1960s. However, it was unknown at the time if early detection of breast cancer would reduce the mortality rate.

Effectiveness

Mammography has helped reduce breast cancer mortality in the U.S. by nearly 40% since 1990.

Screening Guidelines

Women ages 50-74 should have a mammogram screening biennially (every other year). 

Colorectal Cancer

Did you know?

In March 2011, a health system in Southern California set a Guinness World Record with 7,652 colorectal cancer screenings completed in one day at multiple sites.

Effectiveness

Early results from a nationwide polyp study initiated in the U.S. in the 1980s showed that colonoscopy, and removal of polyps found during the procedure, not only reduces the incidence of colorectal cancer but also the number of deaths from the disease by more than half.

Screening Guidelines

Men and women should have a baseline colonoscopy at age 50, then repeat the exam every 10 years. However, patients may need to be screened more frequently based on personal risk factors and should consult their physician. 

Source: United States Preventive Services Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine.

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