Top 5 Cancers (years 2001-2005)

These cancers occur most commonly among 20-44 year olds.

  • Testis
  • Melanoma of Skin
  • Colon/Rectum
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Thyroid
  • Breast
  • Thyroid
  • Melanoma of Skin
  • Cervix
  • Colon/Rectum

Screening Recommendations

Age and SexScreening RecommendationScreening Locations and Other Information
Women age 20 - 39 yearsFor breast cancer: Monthly breast self-exam and clinical breast exam every 1 - 3 years. Mammograms are not routine except for women with strong risk factors: family history of pre-menopausal breast cancer (mother or sister) and personal history of breast/ovarian/endometrial cancer.Sites for low income, uninsured women:
Women age 40 and olderFor breast cancer: Monthly breast self-exam, annual clinical breast exam, and annual mammogram.List of mammography facilities in Massachusetts

Sites for low income, uninsured women:

Women about 3 years after beginning vaginal intercourse, but no later than 21 yearsFor cervical cancer: Pelvic exam and pap test every 1 - 3 years depending on your level of risk (every 3 years only after you have had 3 consecutive negative results).Sites for low income, uninsured women:
Men age 40 and older of African American heritage or with a family history of prostate cancerFor prostate cancer: Annual digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test after discussion of risks and benefits of available screening tests.


All men within this age groupFor testicular cancer: Monthly testicular self-exam and a clinical exam every 1 to 3 years.
All women and men within this age groupFor skin cancer: Periodic skin exams at your health care professional's discretion.

Prevention Strategies

  • Don't smoke. If you do smoke, quit.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Choose 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Limit high fat foods, including red meat, and limit alcohol to 1 to 2 drinks per day.
  • Get 30 minutes of physical activity on 5 or more days of the week.
  • Use sun protection methods, such as protective clothing and sunscreen (SPF 15 or greater) and limit sun exposure during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Minimize exposures to cancer-causing agents in your neighborhood and in your workplace.

Related Links

This information is provided by the Department of Public Health.

Recommended Content

People also viewed...

You recently viewed...

Personalization is OFF. Your personal browsing history at is not visible because your personalization is turned off. To view your history, turn your personalization on.

Learn more on our .

*Recommendations are based on site visitor traffic patterns and are not endorsements of that content.