Screening Guidelines

Breast Cancer


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommend that women 50 to 74 years of age have a screening mammogram every two years; and a decision to begin screening before this age should be made with a doctor, and should take into account the woman’s values regarding specific benefits and harms.

The American Cancer Society gives a more conservative recommendation: yearly mammograms starting at age 45 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.

The screening guidelines are for average-risk women only. If a woman is experiencing breast symptoms or has a strong family history of breast cancer, they should see a doctor and screening may be done. 

Cervical Cancer

Although the leading health organizations differ somewhat in their recommendations regarding the frequency of routine screening, they all agree that women should begin screening at age 21, and continue screening through age 64.

Comparison of cervical cancer screening guidelines from the main expert organizations

Cancer in Louisiana: An Overview and Screening Guide

As part of the Louisiana Cancer Prevention and Control Program’s Cancer-Quality Improvement Project, the Louisiana Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (LCCCP) created a booklet giving an overview of and screening guidelines for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. The booklet can be downloaded here.