Common Screenings

Prevention Matters

The guidelines around preventative care screenings sometimes change. We’re here to guide you and help make sure you stay proactive.

Bone density screening

As women get older, the risk for osteoporosis, a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, increases because bone density tends to decrease. If you’re a woman 65 or older, a bone density test is recommended. During the scan, a large arm will pass over your body emitting low-dose x-rays to measure bone density in your skeleton.

Cervical cancer screening

During a Pap test (Pap smear), the doctor obtains a small sample of tissue from your cervix. Specialists look at the tissue under a microscope to check for changes that might show cervical cancer. We may also test for HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) depending on your age and medical history.

Screening recommendations are based on your age and health history, so it’s important to talk to your primary care provider or OB/Gyn about the best cervical cancer screening option for you.

Breast cancer screening

A mammogram is breast imaging that looks for tissue changes. Screening mammograms for breast cancer typically begin at age 40 for individuals at average risk. If you notice any changes in your breasts, talk with your doctor right away.

Colon cancer screening

Current guidelines recommend colon cancer screening beginning at age 45. If you have a family history of colon cancer or have certain risk factors, we may recommend that you begin screening at an earlier age, and have screenings more frequently.

We offer different types of tests to screen for colon cancer. Talk with your doctor about which screening is right for you. Options include:

  • Colonoscopy: A physician places a tube with a light and video camera (colonoscope) into your rectum to inspect the colon and rectum for abnormal tissue and polyps. Colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years for patients with average risk of colon cancer.
  • Stool tests: We examine a sample of your stool (feces) to look for signs of cancer. Stool tests are recommended annually for Fecal Immunoassay which tests for blood, or every three years for a Cologuard, which tests abnormal genetic tissue and is mailed to your home by the company.
Lung cancer screening

Current guidelines recommend screening for lung cancer for adults ages 50 to 80 years old (50-77 years old who have Medicare) who have a 20 pack/year history of smoking and currently smoke or have quit within the last 15 years. We do this screening with a non-invasive imaging test called a low-dose CT scan. Talk with your doctor about whether you qualify for this screening.

Prostate cancer screening

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening.

After this discussion, men who want to be screened should get the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as a part of screening.

Prostate cancer screening may be recommended for patients at risk:

  • Those 40 and older with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age
  • African-Americans age 45 and older
  • Those age 50 and older of average risk
Skin cancer screening

In general, most individuals should start getting screened for skin cancer in their 20s or 30s. That said, if someone has spent a lot of time in the sun, has a family history of skin cancer, or has moles, they should begin to be checked much sooner. During a screening, the doctor will look at the body from head to toe, including under the hair, to look for any places that need closer inspection.