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Cancer Screening

General health counseling and cancer evaluation

All women should have a general health evaluation annually or as appropriate that should include evaluation for cancer and examination to detect signs of premalignant or malignant conditions.

Breast Cancer

Mammography should be performed every 1-2 years beginning at age 40 years and yearly beginning at age 50 years.  All women should have an annual clinical breast examination as part of the physical examination.  Despite a lack of definitive data for or against breast self-examination, breast self-examination has the potential to detect palpable breast cancer and can be recommended.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer screening should begin at age 21, regardless of the onset of sexual activity.  As long as results are normal, women between the ages of 21 to 29 should have a Pap smear every 3 years.  As long as results are normal, women between the ages of 30 to 65 should have Pap and HPV co-testing every 3 years.  Women age 65+ do not need to be screened if they have had adequate prior screening and are not otherwise at high risk for cervical cancer—i.e., 3 consecutive negative Pap results or 2 consecutive negative HPV results within 10 years before cessation of screening, with the most recent test within 5 years.

Colorectal Cancer

Beginning at age 50, one of five screening options should be selected:

  1. Colonoscopy every 10 years
  2. Yearly patient-collected fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical testing (FIT)*
  3. Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years**
  4. Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years

Endometrial Cancer

Screening asymptomatic women for endometrial cancer and its precursors is not recommended at this time.  Endometrial cancer usually causes symptoms (such as vaginal bleeding) and is found at an early stage, when there is a good chance of recovery.

Lung Cancer

Available screening techniques are not cost-effective and have not been shown to reduce mortality from lung cancer.  Accordingly, routine lung cancer screening is not recommended.

Ovarian Cancer

Currently, there are no effective techniques for the routine screening of asymptomatic, low-risk women for ovarian cancer.  It appears that the best way to detect early ovarian cancer is for both the patient and her clinician to have a high index of suspicion of the diagnosis in the symptomatic woman, and both should be aware of the symptoms commonly associated with ovarian cancer.  Persistent symptoms such as an increase in abdominal size, abdominal bloating, fatigue, abdominal pain, indigestion, inability to eat normally, urinary frequency, pelvic pain, constipation, back pain, urinary incontinence of recent onset, or unexplained weight loss should be evaluated with ovarian cancer being included in the differential diagnosis.

Skin Cancer

Evaluation and counseling regarding exposure to ultraviolet rays is important, especially for people who have already had skin cancer.  If you find a worrisome change, you should report it to your doctor.  It has not been proven in clinical trials that skin cancer screening tests will decrease the risk of mortality from skin cancer.

*Both FOBT and FIT require two or three sample of stool collected by the patient at home and returned for analysis.  A single stool sample FOBT or FIT obtained by digital rectal examination is not adequate for the detection of colorectal cancer.

**Colonoscopy should be done if test results are positive.


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Address: 6580 S McCarran Blvd, #A, Reno, NV 89509
Phone: (775) 826-1285 - Fax: 775-284-4093

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