Recent Blog Articles

Screening Tests for Women Archive


Screening tests may save lives — so when is it time to stop?

Published January 23, 2023

A screening test could save your life, but even the best test has limitations. And as people grow older, the benefits of these tests tend to decline. It’s helpful to understand the limits of screening, and when people can reasonably expect to stop having tests done.

Cancer Network updates recommendations for breast cancer screening in younger women

Published December 1, 2022

New guidelines released in 2022 by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network advise women at average risk for breast cancer to begin undergoing annual mammograms at age 40. However, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women and their doctors make a shared decision to start routine mammography before age 50.

Curbing the nation’s deadliest cancer

Published October 1, 2022

Lung cancer kills about 130,000 Americans yearly, but only a tiny percentage of people eligible for low-dose CT lung cancer screening receive it. People qualify for lung cancer screening if they are 50 to 80 years old, have a substantial smoking history as measured in lifetime packs smoked, and currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years. Tens of thousands of lives might be saved each year if everyone who qualified underwent lung cancer screening, which can detect tumors when they are still small enough to be cured with surgery or radiation.

Women who undergo earlier screening less likely to develop colorectal cancer

Published September 1, 2022

A 2022 study found that women who begin colorectal cancer screening at age 45 with colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy are far less likely to develop the disease than women who don’t undergo any screening or who start screening at age 50.

What to do when a diagnosis is elusive

Published September 1, 2022

Medically unexplained symptoms, which are not easily deciphered account for many visits to primary care doctors and specialists. Individuals seeking answers should work with closely with their primary care doctors.  Strategies such as cognitive behavioral therapy can help people manage stressors that affect physical health.

What type of breast screening do you need?

Published July 1, 2022

Mammograms are still the gold standard method for breast screening, but additional imaging tests can help detect cancers that might otherwise be missed in women with dense breasts or other breast cancer risk factors. Ultrasound is inexpensive but has a high false-positive rate if used alone. MRI is expensive but very accurate for tumor detection. Three-dimensional mammograms are highly accurate but have a 50% false-positive rate over a decade of yearly screening in women ages 40 to 79.

Colon cancer screening decisions: What’s the best option and when?

Published June 15, 2022

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and rates are rising, particularly in younger people. It can be prevented with screening tests; there are several different types of tests that are performed in different ways, and guidelines for when testing should begin and how often people should be tested.

Home screening options for colorectal cancer

Published May 1, 2022

There are several at-home screening tests for colorectal cancer. The most accurate are a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and a multitarget stool DNA (mt-sDNA) test (Cologuard), also known as a FIT-DNA test. The FIT test uses antibodies to detect blood in stool, and must be done once a year. The FIT-DNA test can identify DNA from cancer cells in the stool and also has a FIT component to look for blood. This test may be repeated once every three years.

Are women being over-diagnosed with thyroid cancer?

Published January 1, 2022
Compared to men, women may be over-treated for a certain type of thyroid cancer that is usually not dangerous.

Adding ultrasound to mammography improves cancer detection rate

Published November 1, 2021
A combination of mammography and ultrasound may increase accuracy of breast cancer screening.

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