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Cancer Screening Guidelines

Research indicates that only 5% of cancers are hereditary; this means that most cancers occur spontaneously. Research also indicates that healthy lifestyles and regular checkups can prevent many cancers. Exercise your power!

When should you start screening for cancer? The entire reason we screen for cancer is to find it early, when most treatable and survivable. Due to our population make up and current health statistics, Bermuda follows the recommendations of the American Cancer Society. Here are the recommendations to help guide you when you talk to your doctor about screening for certain cancers.

Talk to your doctor about recommended cancer prevention vaccines and screenings:

  • HPV vaccination works best when given to boys and girls between ages 9 and 12. For detailed recommendation click here.
  • Women 25yrs+ to begin regular Pap screening for cervical cancer and to have an annual pelvic exam - details here.
  • Women 40yrs+ to receive an annual mammogram for breast cancer detection - details here.
  • Men 50yrs+(40yrs if black or have family history) to receive annual DRE tests and PSA if indicated to spot early warning signs of prostate cancer - details here.
  • Men and Women 45yrs+ to begin screening for colorectal cancer - details here.
  • At the time of menopause, all women should be told about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer - details here.
  • Yearly lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT (LDCT) scan for people aged 50 to 80 years who:
    • Smoke or used to smoke


    • Have at least a 20 pack-year history of smoking - a pack-year is equal to smoking 1 pack (or about 20 cigarettes) per day for a year. For example, a person could have a 20 pack-year history by smoking 1 pack a day for 20 years, or by smoking 2 packs a day for 10 years.

As part of Bermuda's National Cancer Control Plan Phase 3, formalised screening guidelines collated from international standards of best practice are being reviewed and considered alongside the local data to generate national guidelines that are evidence based, specific for the local population, and aligned with the Bermuda healthcare system for the following cancers:

  • Breast
  • Prostate
  • Cervical
  • Lung
  • Colorectal
The National Cancer Control Plan Phase 1 & 2 devised by Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre was supported through partial funding from the Chronic Disease Innovation Programme managed by the Bermuda Health Council.


If you have questions about cancer, we have answers:

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