Screening Tests That Have Been Shown to Reduce Cancer Deaths
- Colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and high-sensitivity fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs) These tests have all been shown to reduce deaths from colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy also help prevent colorectal cancer because they can detect abnormal colon growths (polyps) that can be removed before they develop into cancer. Expert groups generally recommend that people who are at average risk for colorectal cancer have screening at ages 50 through 75.
- Low-dose helical computed tomography This test to screen for lung cancer has been shown to reduce lung cancer deaths among heavy smokers ages 55 to 74.
- Mammography This method to screen for breast cancer has been shown to reduce mortality from the disease among women ages 40 to 74, especially those age 50 or older.
- Pap test and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing These tests reduce the incidence of cervical cancer because they allow abnormal cells to be identified and treated before they become cancer. They also reduce deaths from cervical cancer. Testing is generally recommended to begin at age 21 and to end at age 69, as long as recent results have been normal.
Source: National Institute of Health – National Cancer Institute