Pictured: Martee Hensley

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented if people adopted cancer prevention measures, including receiving routine check-ups, living a healthy lifestyle, and having an awareness of the early signs of cancer. Cancer can be discovered early or prevented altogether through periodic check-ups and screening procedures.

Cancer screening tests are recommended to the public at certain baseline ages to detect and remove cancer in its earliest and most curable stage. Rigorously evaluated before they are recommended, screening tests are offered to the general population even in the absence of any cancer symptoms. The age at which screening begins and the frequency of screening may be adjusted when there is a strong family history of a particular cancer or where there is a genetic predisposition. Screening tests are recommended to large numbers of healthy people, therefore any potential harm from the tests has to be outweighed by the potential benefits.

Learn more about screening procedures, risk groups, and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s recommended screening guidelines for many types of cancer.