Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix knows the best way to fight cancer is to detect it early.
We offer state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and specially trained, experienced staff who recognize that most cancers are easier to treat when they are found in their earlier stages.
We also offer a genetic counselor who can help patients determine risks for various cancers based on their family history.
When should I get particular screenings?
Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix follows the American Cancer Society screening guidelines:
- Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40.
- A breast exam done by health care professional about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over
- Breast self-exam is an option for women starting in their 20s.
The American Cancer Society recommends that some women -- because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors -- be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms.
Colorectal cancer and polyps
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Although screening can prevent deaths, only about 60 percent of adults aged 50 years and older in the United States get screened.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends that people at average risk of developing colorectal cancer should get screened starting at age 50. People with a first-degree relative (parents, siblings, or children) who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer are at increased risk, and should start getting screened either at age 40 or 10 years before the age at which their relative was diagnosed, whichever comes first, according to the guidelines. African Americans could also be at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
The guidelines recommend several screening options for average-risk patients: optical colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy, both of which involve inserting a narrow tube with a camera into the rectum, or stool sample tests.
Here are the recommended testing schedules:
Tests that find polyps and cancer
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years or
- Colonoscopy every 10 years, or
- Double-contrast barium enema every five years, or
- CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every five years
Tests that primarily find cancer
- Yearly fecal occult blood test or
- Yearly fecal immunochemical test every year or
- Stool DNA test interval uncertain
- Beginning at age 30, women who have had three normal Pap test results in a row may get screened every two to three years. Women older than 30 may also get screened every three years with either the conventional or liquid-based Pap test, plus the human papilloma virus (HPV) test.
- Women 70 years of age or older who have had three or more normal Pap tests in a row and no abnormal Pap test results in the last 10 years may choose to stop having Pap tests.
- Women who have had a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) may also choose to stop having Pap tests, unless the surgery was done as a treatment for cervical cancer or pre-cancer. Women who have had a hysterectomy without removal of the cervix should continue to have Pap tests.
Some women -- because of their history -- may need to have a different screening schedule for cervical cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with their doctor about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. Starting at age 50, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of testing so you can decide if testing is the right choice for you.
If you are African American or have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, you should have this talk with your doctor starting at age 45.
If you decide to be tested, you should have the PSA blood test with or without a rectal exam. How often you are tested will depend on your PSA level.