Cancer Screening and Support

Should I be screened?

Finding cancer early can help save your life

male doctor with one female and one male patient in doctor's office

We often only go to our doctor when we are sick or hurt, but following preventive screening recommendations can help your doctor find cancer when it is most curable. Finding cancer early gives you more time to make choices about your care and talk with your doctor and loved ones about treatment options.

Why get tested if I don't have symptoms?

Currently, about half of all cancers are not found until they are advanced and harder to treat1. This means cancer can have a head start in your battle against it. That is why early cancer screenings are important. The facts below give you more insight into the benefits and limits of routine cancer screenings2.

Benefits of routine cancer screenings:

  • Can help reassure you if the result is normal.
  • May prevent cancer by finding changes in your body that could become cancer if left untreated.
  • Can help find cancer early when it is easier to treat before you have any symptoms.
  • Can help find cancer early when it is easier to treat before it spreads to other parts of your body.
  • May mean less treatment and less time spent recovering.
  • Can increase your chances of survival if it is found early.

Limits of routine cancer screenings:

  • The test results may suggest you have cancer even though you don't. This is called a false positive.
  • The test may not find cancer even though it is there. This is called a false negative.
  • Some cancers do not always lead to death or lower quality of life. This is called overdiagnosis.
  • Screening tests may lead to more tests and procedures that may be harmful.

The benefits of early cancer screenings can often outweigh the limitations. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

What screenings do I need and when?

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes recommendations on ways to prevent disease and improve the lives of people nationwide. The USPSTF is made up of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine from across the country. They make recommendations based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence.

The USPSTF recommendations below are based on 4 of the most common cancers affecting CalOptima Health members, but it is always best to talk to your doctor about what tests are right for you. Your doctor can make recommendations and share information tailored to your health, history and other risk factors.

Recommended Cancer Screenings

Age 0-21

  • Talk to your doctor about recommended cancer screenings

Age 21-39

  • Cervical cancer screening for adults with a cervix

Age 40-49

  • Breast cancer screening for women
  • Cervical cancer screening for adults with a cervix
  • Colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45

Age 50-74

  • Breast cancer screening for women
  • Cervical cancer screening for adults with a cervix up to age 65
  • Colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45
  • Lung cancer screening if you smoke or have a history of smoking

Age 75+

  • Lung cancer screening if you smoke or have a history of smoking
  • Talk to your doctor about recommended cancer screenings


Breast Cancer Screening

The USPSTF recommends mammograms for women ages 40 to 74 every 2 years3. A mammogram takes X-ray pictures of each breast to look for signs of breast cancer.


Colorectal Cancer Screening

The USPSTF recommends colorectal cancer screenings for all adults ages 45 to 754. Your doctor will let you know the type of test and when you should be tested based on your health history.


Lung Cancer Screening

The USPSTF recommends a yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for adults ages 50 to 80 who smoke or have a history of smoking5. This test uses a low amount of radiation to take an X-ray picture of your lungs to look for signs of cancer.

Your doctor may want you to get a yearly lung cancer screening if you:

  • Quit smoking in the past 15 years
  • Smoked 1 pack per day for the past 20 years
  • Smoked 2 packs per day for the past 10 years


Cervical Cancer Screening

The USPSTF recommends cervical cancer screenings for adults ages 21 to 65 with a cervix every 3 years6. Your doctor will let you know the type of test and when you should be tested based on your health history.


Did you know you can get a health rewards gift card for completing a cancer screening?

You may be eligible to get a gift card from the Member Health Rewards program for taking an active role in your health! CalOptima Health offers eligible members no-cost gift cards for completing certain cancer screenings.

Para obtener más información, llame al Departamento de Servicios para Miembros de CalOptima Health al número gratuito 1-888-587-8088 (TTY 711), de lunes a viernes, de 8 a.m. a 5:30 p.m. Contamos con personal que habla su idioma. Visite nuestras Guías para el cuidado personal en www.caloptima.org/HealthRewards.  





Sources:

Para obtener más información, llame al Departamento de Servicios para Miembros de CalOptima Health al número gratuito 1-888-587-8088 (TTY 711), de lunes a viernes, de 8 a.m. a 5:30 p.m. Contamos con personal que habla su idioma. Visite nuestras Guías para el cuidado personal en 1https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35298272/.  

Para obtener más información, llame al Departamento de Servicios para Miembros de CalOptima Health al número gratuito 1-888-587-8088 (TTY 711), de lunes a viernes, de 8 a.m. a 5:30 p.m. Contamos con personal que habla su idioma. Visite nuestras Guías para el cuidado personal en 2https://cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/find-cancer-early/screening-for-cancer/benefits-and-limitations-of-regular-cancer-screening#:~:text=Cancer%20screening%20helps%20find%20cancer,better%20your%20chance%20of%20survival.  

Para obtener más información, llame al Departamento de Servicios para Miembros de CalOptima Health al número gratuito 1-888-587-8088 (TTY 711), de lunes a viernes, de 8 a.m. a 5:30 p.m. Contamos con personal que habla su idioma. Visite nuestras Guías para el cuidado personal en 3https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/breast-cancer-screening.  

Para obtener más información, llame al Departamento de Servicios para Miembros de CalOptima Health al número gratuito 1-888-587-8088 (TTY 711), de lunes a viernes, de 8 a.m. a 5:30 p.m. Contamos con personal que habla su idioma. Visite nuestras Guías para el cuidado personal en 4https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/colorectal-cancer-screening.  

Para obtener más información, llame al Departamento de Servicios para Miembros de CalOptima Health al número gratuito 1-888-587-8088 (TTY 711), de lunes a viernes, de 8 a.m. a 5:30 p.m. Contamos con personal que habla su idioma. Visite nuestras Guías para el cuidado personal en 5https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/lung-cancer-screening.  

Para obtener más información, llame al Departamento de Servicios para Miembros de CalOptima Health al número gratuito 1-888-587-8088 (TTY 711), de lunes a viernes, de 8 a.m. a 5:30 p.m. Contamos con personal que habla su idioma. Visite nuestras Guías para el cuidado personal en 6https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/cervical-cancer-screening.  

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