Women’s Screening Guidelines

Premier Health offers a wide variety of cancer screenings for women, including the more commonly recommended tests below. 

Breast Cancer Screenings

Breast cancer is a common cancer that a woman may face in her lifetime – second only to skin cancer. It can occur at any age, but it is much more likely to occur after age 40 and as you get older. The best defense is to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat.

For women at average risk, Premier Health recommends a mammogram every year beginning at age 40. No physician referral is needed for a screening mammogram. Get your mammogram and challenge your friends to get theirs, too. Additionally, Premier Health recommends women preform a monthly self-breast exam.  

Because of certain factors, including personal or family history and genetics, some women may have a greater chance of having breast cancer than others. Women at high risk may need to start screening at an earlier age, get additional tests, or be tested more often.

Take the Breast Cancer Family History Assessment to determine if you may have a higher risk for breast and related cancer. Answer as many questions as you can based on your own and your family’s cancer history. Once you complete the assessment, you will receive recommendations that you can share with your physician or other health care provider.

For eligible women who don’t have adequate insurance or financial resources to pay for these services, Premier Community Health offers free mammograms and payment of co-pays for mammograms and other breast health services. Call (937) 208-7952 (937) 208-7952 or (866) 838-8973(866) 838-8973(866) 838-8973.

Cervical Cancer Screenings

Cervical cancer  typically affects women who are, or have been, sexually active. It is more likely to occur in women who have, or have had the  human papillomavirus (HPV), which is transmitted through sexual contact.

Make sure to get a well-woman checkup every year, even if you don’t need a screening. If you’ve had the HPV vaccine, you still need to be screened.

A Pap test can find changes in the cervix that can be treated before they become cancer. The Pap test is also very effective in finding cervical cancer early, when it is highly curable. 

For women of average risk, Premier Health providers follow both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Cancer Society’s recommendations. Talk to your health care provider starting at age 21 to see what is best for you. 

There are some risk factors that can put you at higher risk for cervical cancer, including:

  • History of HIV
  • Immunocompromised
  • Persistent HPV infection after age 30
  • History of severe cervical dysplasia

This doesn’t mean you will get cancer, but talk to your health care provider about screening at an earlier age, additional tests, or more frequent testing.

Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Project

The Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Project (BCCP) was created to offer free mammograms, Pap tests, and other services to uninsured women in the Southwest Ohio area. It is funded by the Ohio Department of Health through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of Ohio. Premier Community Health offers the BCCP in the following counties:

  • Champaign
  • Clark
  • Darke
  • Greene
  • Logan
  • Miami
  • Montgomery
  • Preble
  • Shelby

Learn more about the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Project (BCCP)Appointments are required for all services and can be made by calling BCCP at (937) 208-7952(937) 208-7952 or (866) 838-8973(866) 838-8973 (866) 838-8973

Endometrial Cancer Screenings

Endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus) occurs most often in women age 50 and older. Taking estrogen without progesterone or taking drugs such as  tamoxifen to lower the risk of breast cancer may increase a woman’s chance for this disease. Having an early onset of menstrual periods, late menopause, a history of infertility, or not having children can increase the risk, too. If you have a personal or family history of hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or polycystic ovary disease, or you are obese, you also are also more likely to have endometrial cancer. The   American Cancer Society  recommends at the time of menopause that all women should be told about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer.  

Watch for signs and symptoms, such as unusual spotting or bleeding not related to menstrual periods, and report these to your doctor. Although the Pap test is very good at finding cancer of the cervix, it is not a test for endometrial cancer. 

Endometrial screenings are only recommended for women at increased risk. If you have been diagnosed with or have a family history of Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer), talk to your health care provider about yearly transvaginal ultrasounds and endometrial biopsies. Check with your insurance provider before scheduling exams. Not all insurance providers cover these costs.

Ovarian Cancer Screenings

Ovarian cancer is more likely to occur as women get older. Women who have never had children, who have unexplained infertility, or who had their first child after age 30 may be at increased risk for this cancer. Women who have used estrogen alone as hormone replacement therapy are also at increased risk. If you have a personal or family history of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome), ovarian cancer, or breast cancer, you are also more likely to have this disease. Women who do not have any of these conditions can still have ovarian cancer. 

For years, ovarian cancer was known as the "silent" cancer because it rarely produced any symptoms and many women didn't find out they had it until the cancer was very advanced. 

There are no tests like mammograms or Pap tests for the ovaries. A few tests are available, but are not recommended for women at average risk. They may be used if you are at high risk or have symptoms that may suggest ovarian cancer.

For more information about ovarian cancer screenings, talk with your health care provider. 


Contact Us

Call the Premier Health cancer hotline at (844) 316-HOPE(844) 316-4673 (4673), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to connect with a Premier Health cancer navigator.