As part of the Community Cancer Care Evaluation, a random-sample survey of practicing physicians in 12 geographic areas was conducted in 1985 to provide information about physician practice patterns with reference to cancer detection, control, and treatment. All respondents were asked whether they routinely performed comprehensive physical examinations, breast palpations, mammography, rectal examinations, chest roentgenography, and stool guaiac examinations on normal healthy patients older than 50 years. Responses were examined in terms of American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, Md) recommendations. Conformity with recommendations was dependent on the geographic area, the specific procedure, and the specialty of the physician. Across all procedures, frequency of performance varied with years since graduation from medical school, with more recent graduates more likely to conform to recommended standards.