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Cancer Screening Guidelines and Warning Signs

Screenings for Women

  • Get an annual Pap test when sexually active, no matter what age. Regardless of sexual activity, Pap testing should begin no later than age 21.
  • Get an breast exam and cancer-related checkup once a year between 18 and 39 years of age, and do a breast self-examination every month.
  • Get a mammogram and cancer-related checkup once a year, starting at age 40.
  • Begin colon cancer screening at age 50.

Screenings for Men

  • Examine testicles monthly for lumps or changes between the ages of 15 and 34.
  • Get a cancer-related check-up every three years between the ages of 18 and 39.
  • Get a cancer-related check-up every year, starting at age 40.
  • Begin colon cancer screening, prostate screening, and digital rectal exams once a year, starting at age 50.

Warning Signs

You can remember seven major cancer warning signs by thinking about the word CAUTION.

Change in bowel or bladder habits
A sore throat that does not heal
Unusual bleeding or discharge
Thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere
Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
Obvious change in wart or mole
Nagging cough or hoarseness

Any symptom that last for more than two weeks should be checked by a health-care professional.

Native American Cancer Risk brochure Native American Cancer Warning Signs
Native American
Cancer Risk
Cancer Warning Signs
and Screening Information