Screening and Prevention

You wouldn’t wait to take your car in for service until the “check engine” light is on. So, why wait until you feel sick or pain to schedule an appointment with your doctor? Cancer screening tests are crucial in detecting cancers early, when they are most easily treated.

Mammograms

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the outcome of treatment. One way to detect breast cancer is through mammograms.

A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. Our doctors use mammograms to look for irregularities and early signs of breast cancers. We provide both 2-D and 3-D mammography technology at our Women’s Center.

Current guidelines suggest that women 40 years and older, should have an annual screening mammogram. However, family history, new lumps, tenderness, or changes in skin or nipple may warrant earlier screenings.

Visit our Women’s Center page for more information about breast cancer and mammograms.

Pap Tests

A Pap test, also called a Pap smear, is a screening procedure for cervical cancer in women.

A Pap test involves collecting cells from the cervix — the lower, narrow end of the uterus located at the top of the vagina.

Detecting cervical cancer early with a Pap test gives you a greater chance at a cure as well as detects changes of the cervical cells that may become cancerous in the future.

Colonoscopies

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. The best way to screen for colorectal cancer is through colonoscopies.

A colonoscopy is an exam that allows your provider to look inside your rectum and colon using a tool called a colonoscope.

Being told you should get a colonoscopy can bring up a lot of emotions — fear, anxiety, uncertainty. Educating yourself about colon cancer and colonoscopies can help alleviate some of these feelings.

Learn more by visiting our Colonoscopy page.

Prostate Exams

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (after skin cancer), but can often be treated successfully.

Your doctor may use a digital rectal exam (DRE) to check for prostate cancer or issues with the prostate. For this test, your doctor will gently insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum to examine the prostate for irregularities in size, shape and texture.

Lung Cancer Screenings

In the United States, lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer. Fortunately, if lung cancer is found at an earlier stage, when it’s small and before it’s spread, it is more likely to be treated successfully.

To test for lung cancer, your doctor will ask about your medical history as well as family history and if you are or were ever a smoker. They may then use X-rays, a computed tomography (CT) scan, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or another scan to show an image of your chest and lungs.

Other Common Screenings

Breast, cervical, colon, prostate and lung cancer are the most common types of cancer. However, at the Stormont Vail Health, we treat all forms of cancer. We also offer screening for:

  • Ovarian
  • Pancreatic
  • Testicular
  • Thyroid
  • Bladder
  • Oral
  • And various types of skin cancer

Prevention

You can reduce your risk of getting cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices. These include:

  • Don’t us tobacco: Using any type of tobacco increases your risk of developing lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney cancer. Avoiding tobacco — or deciding to stop using it — is an important part of cancer prevention.
  • Eat a healthy diet: While making healthy mealtime decisions can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it might help reduce your risk. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight, drink alcohol in moderation and limit processed meats.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer. Prevent it by avoiding midday sun, covering exposed areas, using sunscreen regularly and avoiding tanning beds.
  • Get regular medical care: Regular self-exams and screenings can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when it’s most treatable.

Cancer won’t wait, and neither should you. Talk to your doctor today if you have any concerns or worries about cancer or the tests used to screen for cancer.

Health Library

Our Cancer Care Location