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Wellness Screenings

Regular screenings are important to maintain good health. We offer a variety of wellness screenings. Below are two screenings we have chosen to highlight.

Screenings are medical tests that look for a disease when no symptoms are present. They allow potential problems to be identified early, when treatment works best.

Screenings check for a variety of diseases and health conditions, including colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Contact your healthcare provider to determine which screening tests are right for you. Most insurance plans cover preventive services, such as immunizations and screening tests, at no cost.

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in American men and women. However, the rate of diagnosis has decreased yearly since the mid-1980s. This is mainly due to more people getting screened and reducing their risk through lifestyle changes that can include exercise and a healthy diet.

The American Cancer Society’s screening guidelines state:

  • People at average risk of colorectal cancer should start regular screening at age 45.
  • People who are in good health, and with a life expectancy of more than 10 years, should continue regular screening through age 75.
  • For people age 76 through 85, the decision to be screened should be based on personal preference, life expectancy, overall health, and prior screening history.
  • People over age 85 should no longer get screened.
  • Individuals who are at high risk for colorectal cancer should discuss screening options with their healthcare provider. This includes people who have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps.

Screening tests can be divided into two main groups:

Visual exam
Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard test. It can detect precancerous polyps — abnormal growths in the colon or rectum — that can be removed before they turn into cancer. A long, flexible tube (with a tiny camera at the tip) is inserted into the rectum to examine the entire colon.

Stool-based test
Cologuard is an at-home stool collection kit that detects certain DNA markers and blood in the stool. It is intended for adults age 45 and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer. Note that Cologuard may only be appropriate for some types of patients. The test is available through a healthcare provider.

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among American women. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

The American Cancer Society’s screening guidelines state:

  • Women between age 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
  • Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women age 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live at least 10 more years.
  • Women who are at high risk for breast cancer should get a breast MRI and a mammogram every year, typically starting at age 30. This includes women who have a personal or family history of breast cancer, or a genetic mutation known to increase risk of the disease.
  • All women should understand what to expect when getting a mammogram for breast cancer screening – what the test can and cannot do.

Clinical breast exams are not recommended for breast cancer screening among average-risk women at any age.

Screening tests for breast cancer include the following:

Mammograms
Mammograms, which use low-dose X-rays, are the best way to screen for breast cancer. Women who have regular mammograms are more likely to have breast cancer found early and are less likely to need aggressive treatment like surgery to remove the breast (mastectomy) and chemotherapy.

Clinical breast exam and breast self-exam
Research has not shown a clear benefit of regular breast exams done by a health professional (clinical breast exams) or by women themselves (breast self-exams) for those at average risk of breast cancer. Women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and should report any changes to a healthcare provider immediately.