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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Three cancers for which screening is recommended in USA:

Breast Cancer:
Current recommendations is to have all women > 40 years to have mammogram every 2 years. From 20 to 40 years, a breast examination by a physician is recommended every 3 to 4 years.

Cervical Cancer:
Pap smear should be started annually 3 years after sexual activity or after age 21. After age 30 it can be done every 2 years if the first three Pap smears were negative.

Colon Cancer:
Annual stool occult blood after age 50 and colonoscopy every 10 years. If the patient has positive family history then 5 yearly colonoscopy after age 40.
 

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Two different guidelines

Mammography should be started at age 40 or 50? :notsure:
In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued revised mammogram guidelines:
  • Screening mammograms should be done every two years beginning at age 50 for women at average risk of breast cancer.
  • Screening mammograms before age 50 should not be done routinely and should be based on a woman's values regarding the risks and benefits of mammography.
  • Doctors should not teach women to do breast self-exams.

These guidelines differ from those of the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS mammogram guidelines call for yearly mammogram screening beginning at age 40 for women at average risk of breast cancer. Meantime, the ACS says the breast self-exam is optional in breast cancer screening.

According to the USPSTF, women who have screening mammograms die of breast cancer less frequently than do women who don't get mammograms. However, the USPSTF says the benefits of screening mammograms don't outweigh the harms for women ages 40 to 49. Potential harms may include false-positive results that lead to unneeded breast biopsies and accompanying anxiety and distress.

However, in most states, they still recommend it at age 40 and probably that's what you should be answering in the USMLE exam.
 

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Many thanks for the informative reply.

I'm asking cause UW insists that mammogram should not be started before age 50. I just got a question wrong where the patient was 45, and in the explanation they mentioned the 50-yr recommendation. :rolleyes:

I hate numbers especially when there's confusion about them! :confused:
 

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Lung Cancer screening

The USPSTF recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography in adults ages 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery.

http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspslung.htm
 
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