There are nearly 14 million cancer survivors living in the United States. Survival rates are climbing, thanks in part to better screening and early detection. While we don't have screening tools to catch every type of cancer early, the tests that we do have are very effective and save countless lives every year.

The information below provides general screening guidelines. Screening varies based on your personal and family history, so talk to your doctor about the schedule that's best for you.

Lung Cancer

A low-dose CT scan of the lungs may detect lung cancer in its earliest stage, when it is easiest to treat. You may be a candidate for low-dose CT lung cancer screening if you meet the following criteria:

Age 55-80 years

  • 30 pack-year history of smoking or greater. (A pack-year refers to the number of cigarettes smoked per day for a year. Smoking one pack per day for 30 years equates to 30 pack-years. Smoking two packs a day for 30 years equates to 60 pack-years. Smoking a half-pack a day for 30 years equates to 15 pack-years.)
  • If you're an ex-smoker, you've quit within the past 15 years

Age 50 or older

  • 20 pack-year smoking history
  • One additional risk factor, including COPD or pulmonary fibrosis; radon exposure; occupational exposure to asbestos, silica, cadmium, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, diesel fumes or nickel; personal history of cancer; or family history of cancer.
To learn more about lung cancer screening, call 912-350-LUNG (5864)

General Cancer Screening

Beginning at age 20, all men and women should have an annual physical that includes an examination of the mouth, skin, lymph nodes, and testes or ovaries.

Breast Cancer

We offer a specialized screening program for women with a higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer

Beginning at age 40, women should have a mammogram and clinical breast exam every year for as long as they are in good health.

To schedule a mammogram, call 912-350-PINK (7465)
  • Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam every three years.
  • Women should conduct monthly breast self-exams beginning in their 20s.

Colorectal Cancer

Beginning at age 50, men and women should have a colonoscopy every 10 years or have one of the following:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
  • Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years
  • CT colonography every 5 years

Cervical Cancer

  • At age 21, women should have their first cervical cancer screening test.
  • From age 21 to 29, women should have a Pap test every 3 years.
  • From age 30 to 65, women should have a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years (preferred) or continue to have a Pap test alone every 3 years.
  • Women over age 65 who have a history of normal Pap and cervical cancer test results can discontinue screening.

Prostate Cancer

  • Starting at age 50, men should talk with their doctor about having an annual PSA blood test with or without a rectal exam.
  • African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer should begin screening at age 45.