Adult Preventive Services Recommendations

Preventive health care services, such as screenings for blood pressure, breast cancer and diabetes, can help you achieve good health and prevent disease. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) carefully considers the most current medical evidence and makes recommendations on what preventive care tests and services may be right for you.

OHSU is home to a team of researchers who conduct reviews of health care topics for federal and state agencies, including the USPSTF. This research is an example of how OHSU supports and informs the use of evidence-based medicine, which integrates the best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.

While the following recommendations from both USPSTF and OHSU are backed by the latest medical findings, we urge you to consult your doctor and discuss the best options for you.


For women between the ages of 50 and 74, OHSU recommends screening mammography every one to two years. The USPSTF recommends screening mammography every two years for women between the ages of 50 and 74.

For women between the ages of 40 and 49, OHSU strongly encourages you to discuss mammography with your primary care provider, particularly if certain risk factors are present. The USPSTF states the decision to start screening mammography before age 50 should be an individual one, discussed with your doctor.

Oral Cancer

OHSU and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute recommend you have an oral cancer screening examination performed every three years if you are a heavy smoker (about a pack a day) or use smokeless tobacco (such as “chew”). A screening exam refers to visual inspection and examination of your mouth, skin of your head and neck, face and thyroid.

PSA screening

OHSU recommends shared decision-making between a patient and his primary care provider for men age 50 and older. The USPSTF recommends against screening for prostate cancer with the PSA test.

Skin cancer

OHSU and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute recommend an annual skin cancer screening examination for individuals with the following risk factors:

  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Considerable history of sun exposure and sunburn
  • Light-skinned men and women over the age of 65
  • Patients with atypical moles
  • Patients with more than 50 moles

Other individuals without these specific risk factors should discuss the utility of an annual examination with their provider and jointly determine if an exam is indicated. If you have had a melanoma, more frequent examinations may be indicated, depending on the stage of disease and the length of time that has passed since the diagnosis was made.

Other recommendations

Overall, OHSU endorses and recommends using all A and B recommendations of the USPSTF

  • A and B “grades” mean the USPSTF has weighed the evidence, has recommended the service and connected it to a net benefit.
  • Visit USPSTF to review an A-Z listing of preventive services recommendations.

OHSU clinical decisions support committee members:

  • Tom Beer, M.D., Professor, Department of Medicine; Deputy Director, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
  • Katie Bensching, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Mike Bonazzola, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, OHSU Faculty Practice Plan; Professor, Department of Medicine (committee chair)
  • Roger Chou, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology; Director, Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center
  • David Dorr, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology
  • Renee Edwards, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Associate Director, OHSU Center for Women’s Health
  • Christine Mullowney, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Bruin Rugge, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine
  • Kathleen McFall, Director of Communications, School of Medicine (observer)

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