Unfortunately for women, cancer comes in various shapes, sizes and severity. However, knowing when -- and where -- to begin screening for these illnesses can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing an undiagnosed case later in life.
Dr. Lisa Ferrara, internal medicine physician at Bon Secours Medical Group, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), recommends women follow these guidelines when screening:
General : Blood pressure, weight, diabetes and cholesterol at annual primary-care visits.
Breast cancer: Age 40-75, annual mammogram; continue based on age, life expectancy and health risks.
Cervical cancer: Age 21-65, pap smears every three years; this can be extended to every five years if combined with a human papilloma virus (HPV) test.
Colon cancer: Begin screening at age 45 or 50, depending on family history. Screenings include colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, stool occult and fecal immunochemical (FIT), and stool DNA (Cologard testing).
Hepatitis C: Once for anyone born between 1945 and 1965.
Lung cancer: Age 55-79, annually, for asymptomatic smokers and former smokers.
Skin cancer: Depends upon skin type and family history.
Visit Bon Secours Medical Group, a member of Westchester Medical Center Health Network, to learn more.