Preventative Care

Kylee Heishman


Mammograms screen for breast cancer. When a doctor is looking at your mammogram, they will check for changes such as calcifications---micro/macro, a mass, and breast density. Any of these things can help a doctor determine if you may have breast cancer. Women should get these annually, or depending on their age, every 2 years. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to get a mammogram done as early as 20 if your doctor suggests it because you are at high risk of breast cancer. For annual mammograms, women usually start these at age 40-44; At age 45, you should be getting these every year.You should get mammograms annually, or in some cases for anyone 55 or older, you can chose to get them every 2 years, or you can continue getting them annually.

Screening Recommendations by Age

What does a Doctor Look for on a Mammogram

Pap Smears

Pap smears screen for cervical cancer and or pre-cancers. This test can screen for infections and other issues such as abnormal cells which could turn into cancer without treatment. Pap smears are only for women and once you turn 21, you should start getting regular pap smears. If you get normal results, you should get this done every 3 years, but depending on your results, you may need to be tested more often.

Pap Smears

Testicular Exams

Testicular exams screen for lumps, tenderness, and swelling, which could be signs of testicular cancer. Men should get testicular exams, or perform them themselves. You should start at a young age, such as 14, and perform these exams monthly.

Testicular Cancer

Prostate Exams

Prostate exams screen for prostate cancer, by testing the amount of prostate specific antigen in the blood stream. Men should be getting prostate exams, starting at age 50 and get them generally every 1-2 years. The frequency of your testing depends on your PSA levels. You should talk with your family about any history of prostate cancer at around age 40.

Testing for Prostate Cancer