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Important cancer screenings for 2023

GEHA | December 12, 2022

Make preventive care part of your New Year’s resolution.

New year, new screenings. Scheduling a screening with your doctor won’t take much effort but may decrease your risk of some well-known cancers.

Breast cancer
Breast cancer can be detected with a mammogram. For most women, mammography provides the best way to find breast cancer at an early stage, before a lump is big enough to feel or has spread to other parts of the body.

The American Cancer Society recommends that:

  • Women ages 40–44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so or have a family history.
  • Women ages 45–54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years or can continue with yearly screening.
  • Screenings should continue as long as a woman is in good health.

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer may be found with two screening tests: the Pap and HPV test. The Pap tests looks for precancerous cell changes that might become cervical cancer if not treated. The HPV test looks for the human papillomavirus that causes most cases of cervical cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends that:

  • Women aged 21 should get their first cervical cancer screening.
  • Women ages 25–65 should get a primary HPV test done every five years. If a primary HPV test is not available, a Pap test every three years is still a good option.
  • Women 65 and older should consult their doctor for recommended screening timelines.

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer can be revealed with a screening test. These tests work to detect colorectal cancer early when treatment works best.  

The American Cancer Society recommends that:

  • People aged 45 should start regular screenings.
  • People ages 46–75 should continue with regular screenings.
  • People ages 76–85 should talk with their primary health care provider about whether continuing to get screened is the right option.
  • People 86 and older should consult their doctor for recommended screening timelines.

Find care

Remember, regular cancer screenings can help find problems before they start or early when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right screenings, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life.

GEHA covers these screenings at 100% when the member is of qualifying age and uses an in-network physician or facility. Find a provider near you so you can schedule your screenings today.

“Screening Tests.”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 May 2022
“American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer.”, American Cancer Society, 14 March 2022

This information contained herein is for informational and educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and if you have questions regarding a medical condition, regimen, or treatment you should always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice from a qualified medical professional because of information you have read herein.

This is a brief description of the features of Government Employees Health Association, Inc.’s medical plans. Please read the GEHA Federal brochures which are available at All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations and exclusions set forth in the Federal brochures.