The Big Screens

USE THESE GUIDE­LINES TO PLAN WHEN TO TEST FOR WHAT

Women's Health (South Africa) - - HEALTH -

Can­cer type: Breast Mam­mo­gram ev­ery year, start­ing from age 40. Ev­ery month at the same time, do a breast self­ex­am­i­na­tion fol­low­ing your men­strual cy­cle from age 20.

Can­cer type: Thy­roid Peo­ple who have a first-de­gree rel­a­tive with thy­roid can­cer are at high risk and should talk to their doc about ge­netic test­ing or reg­u­lar ul­tra­sounds, as no rou­tine screen­ing ex­ists.

Can­cer type: Cer­vi­cal Over 25? Have a Pap smear ev­ery three years (although al­ways dis­cuss with your doc­tor how of­ten you need to be tested). You can be screened be­fore then, to check for ab­nor­mal­i­ties, if you’re be­tween the ages of 18 and 20 and are sex­u­ally ac­tive. At age 30, a Pap smear can be com­bined with HPV test­ing ev­ery five years (an ab­nor­mal re­sult may war­rant a re­peat Pap).

Can­cer type: Colon Start­ing at age 50, women at av­er­age risk (no fam­ily his­tory or per­sonal his­tory of in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease) should have ei­ther a colonoscopy ev­ery 10 years, a sig­moi­doscopy (it ex­am­ines your colon or in­tes­tine us­ing a flex­i­ble tube) ev­ery five years or an an­nual stool test.

Can­cer type: Me­lanoma Reg­u­lar skin checks are im­por­tant, as are get­ting your moles mapped with a Der­mas­cope – a ma­chine that im­ages and tracks le­sions on the skin.

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