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Contact Information Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Division of Cancer
Prevention and Control
4770 Buford Hwy, NE
MS K-64
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717

Call: 1 (800) CDC-INFO
TTY: 1 (888) 232-6348
FAX: (770) 488-4760


Submit a Question Online

Preventive Cancer Screening and Vaccination

Screening means checking your body for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. The routine performance of screening tests may find many kinds of cancer early, when treatment is likely to work best.

Screening for Breast, Cervical, and Colon Cancers

CDC supports screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal (colon) cancers as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Free or Low-Cost Mammogram or
Pap Test

To find out if you qualify, call your local program.

Breast Cancer
Currently, the best way to find breast cancer is with a mammogram. Mammograms are the best method to detect breast cancer early when it is easier to treat. For more information, visit Breast Cancer Screening.

Cervical Cancer
The Pap test can find abnormal cells in the cervix which may turn into cancer. Pap tests can also find cervical cancer early, when the chance of being cured is very high. For more information, visit Cervical Cancer Screening.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for females aged 9–26 to prevent cervical cancer. However, the HPV vaccine does not substitute for routine cervical cancer screening (Pap tests), according to recommended screening guidelines. For more information, visit Basic Information about Cervical Cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Demonstration Program

Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best. For more information, visit Colorectal Cancer Screening.

The Colorectal Cancer Screening Demonstration Program offers free or low-cost screening at five sites.

Screening for Lung, Ovarian, Prostate, and Skin Cancers

Screening for lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers has not been shown to reduce deaths from those cancers.

Lung Cancer
Scientists have studied several types of screening tests for lung cancer. A review of these studies by experts shows that more information is needed. It is not known if these tests can help prevent deaths from lung cancer. For more information, visit Lung Cancer Screening.

Ovarian Cancer
There is no evidence that any screening test reduces deaths from ovarian cancer. For more information, visit Basic Information about Ovarian Cancer.

Prostate Cancer
Because current evidence is insufficient to determine whether the potential benefits of prostate cancer screening outweigh important harms, there is no scientific consensus that such screening is beneficial. For more information, visit Prostate Cancer Screening.

Skin Cancer
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has concluded that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against routine screening (total-body examination by a clinician) to detect skin cancers early. For more information, visit Basic Information about Skin Cancer.

Related Links

*Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

Page last reviewed: April 11, 2007
Page last updated: April 21, 2008
Content source: Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
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