Breast cancer screening is typically done by mammography, an X-ray of the breast tissue. Mammograms can detect breast tumors early, before they can be felt and while they are most treatable. Depending on your age and cancer history, your doctor may recommend you begin having screening mammograms between age 40 and 50 once a year or once every two years. Your doctor or nurse practitioner can also perform a clinical breast exam, manually checking for growths or abnormalities, during a routine gynecological examination.
Ovarian cancer screening
While rare, ovarian cancer is a very deadly form of gynecologic cancer. Only one-fifth of ovarian cancers are discovered at the early stages, when they are most treatable. At this point in time, no screening tests have been shown to lower the risk of dying from ovarian cancer, so none are recommended. However, for women who are genetically at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, transvaginal ultrasound combined with the CA-15 blood test can be used to help screen for the disease.