Screenings

The American Cancer Society recommends cancer screening guidelines for most adults. Screening tests are used to find cancer before a person has any symptoms. Getting screening tests regularly can help doctors find and treat several types of cancer early. Early detection is important because when cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat.

Women ages 40-44 should consider annual breast cancer screening mammograms. Women ages 45-54 should get mammograms every year. Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years, or can continue yearly screening. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

Depending on their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors, some women should receive MRIs along with mammograms.

To schedule a screening mammogram, please call 334-793-8006 or 1-800-548-1537.

Cervical cancer screening for women should begin at age 21.

  • Women ages 21-29 should have a Pap test every three years.
  • Women ages 30-65 should have a Pap test and an HPV test every five years.
  • Women over 65 with no abnormal reports historically, should not be tested. Women with a history of cervical pre-cancer should continue to be tested for 20 years.
  • Women who have had their uterus/cervix removed, with no history of cancer or pre-cancer, should not be tested.
  • Women vaccinated against HPV should follow the recommendations above.

To schedule an appointment, contact your preferred provider.

Starting at age 50, both men and women should follow one of the following testing plans:

Tests that find polyps and cancer:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years*, or
  • Colonoscopy every ten years, or
  • Double-contrast barium enema every five years*, or
  • CT colonography every five years*

Tests that mostly find cancer:

  • Yearly guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT)*
  • Yearly fecal immunochemical test (FIT)*
  • Stool DNA test (sDNA)every 3 years*

*If test is positive, a colonoscopy should be done.

If you are considered high-risk for colon cancer, based on family history or other factors, you may need to be screened using a different schedule.

To schedule an appointment, contact your preferred provider.

The American Cancer Society recommends tests to screen for lung cancer if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Between 55-74 years of age.
  • A current smoker or someone who has quit within the past 15 years.
  • Have smoked at least 1 pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years.
  • Have smoked at least 2 packs of cigarettes a day for 15 years.

The screening is performed with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT) of the chest.

To schedule an appointment, call 334-712-3114.

Starting at age 50, men should talk to their doctors about the pros and cons of testing. If you are African American or have a father who had prostate cancer before age 65, you should have this talk with a health care provider starting at age 45. How often men are tested depends on their PSA level.

To schedule an appointment, call Urological Associates located on the 5th Floor of the Doctors Center at SAMC at 334-794-4159.

The American Cancer Society recommends women learn about the risks and symptoms of endometrial (uterine) cancer at the time of menopause. Women should also report vaginal bleeding or spotting to their doctors.

To schedule an appointment, contact your preferred provider.