Why Should I Be Screened?
“When it comes to screenings, it is one of the easiest steps you can take to improve your health,” said Debbie Campbell, RN, MSN, Cancer Screening Nurse Navigator at Beebe’s Tunnell Cancer Center. “If cancer is detected early, there is a much better chance that it can be treated more effectively.”
Preventive health screenings are an important part of healthcare. Federal regulations now require most people to have health insurance if they don’t qualify for Medicaid, which means people who previously may not have been covered, now can receive proper care. Part of that care includes health screenings.
The Affordable Care Act dictates that all Health Insurance Marketplace plans and most other private insurances must provide preventive health screenings, such as cancer screenings, without being subject to the co-payments and deductibles that apply to other testing.
Early detection cancer screenings afford patients the opportunity to have certain cancers detected at the earliest stages when they are most treatable and curable.
Recommended screenings for women:
- Breast: Clinical breast exam every three years, starting age 20 through 39, then annually starting at age 40. Mammogram annually starting at age 40.
- Cervical Screening: Pap smear every three years during ages 21 to 29; every three years or every five years if co-tested with HPV for ages 30 to 65; and those over 65 may consider discontinuing screening if no abnormal cells have been detected for 10 years.
- Colon Screening: Begins at age 50 (earlier than 50 if there is a family history of colon cancer or specific personal history of colonic polyps and certain inflammatory bowel diseases). Repeat every 10 years if no polyps are found or repeat every five years if there is a family history of colon cancer or a personal history of polyps. Some people may require more frequent screenings as directed by a physician.
Screenings save lives. If you do not have health insurance, consider applying through the federal or state Health Insurance Marketplace.
Beebe Healthcare partners with Choose Health Delaware, the state’s program for healthcare reform, and the Health Insurance Marketplace where Delawareans can access and evaluate health insurance coverage options to make sure everyone is covered.
For more information on mammography services at Beebe, go to www.beebehealthcare.org/3-D-mammo. If you have questions about whether you qualify for a free screening through the Screening for Life program, call our Cancer Care Nurse Navigator at (302) 645-3169.