Early detection is key in the fight against cancer.
Routine cancer screenings can help diagnose conditions early, when they are easier to treat. Regular visits with your physician are an important way to stay healthy throughout your life. Below you will find information on cancer screenings and learn more about which screenings you may need. Schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor if you have any questions.
For women, there are 5 recommended screenings: breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer and lung cancer.
For men, there are 4 recommended screenings: prostate cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer and lung cancer.
"If there's a test you're supposed to have, don't postpone having it, have the test." Watch more from breast cancer survivor Sue, in the video below.
Colon Cancer Testing (Colonoscopy)
Recommended every 10 years for adults without other risk factors, starting at age 45. A colonoscopy is a procedure used to detect cancer of the colon and rectum. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, and you will be sedated to prevent discomfort. Gastroenterologists generally perform colonoscopies.
Skin Cancer Check
Recommended for adults during periodic physical examinations or more often at your doctor’s discretion, starting at age 18. Skin checks are examinations of skin surfaces to detect cancer. Dermatologists generally perform this screening.
Breast Cancer Testing (Mammogram)
Recommended annually for women starting at age 40-45. At age 55, mammograms are recommended every 2 years. A mammogram is radiologic procedure used to detect changes within the breast tissue that could indicate breast cancer. Ochsner offers digital mammography and 3D mammography. Your primary care doctor or OB/GYN can order a mammogram for you.
Cervical Cancer Testing
Women should begin screening for cervical cancer at age 25. You should also have a Pap test every three to five years and an HPV test. OBGYNs generally perform this screening.
Prostate Cancer Screening
Recommended for men starting at age 50 (age 45 for African Americans). Speak to your doctor about which screening exam is right for you. A Urologist generally performs prostate cancer screenings.
Lung Cancer Screening
Recommended for adults ages 50+ that are currently a smoker or who were a heavy smoker. Our lung cancer screening uses the lowest radiation CT scan available, which produces a 3D image of your lungs. The screening is non-invasive, and you don’t have to do anything special to prepare. There are no injections or dyes to drink. The scan takes less than five minutes.
*Screening criteria recommended by American Cancer Society
Cancer Genetics and High Risk
Cancer has many possible causes. Some examples of known risk factors for cancer that we are not born with are tobacco use, sun exposure, certain infections, and poor diet. Cancers sometimes seem to run in families, and this can be due to shared genetics and/or other shared risk factors, including environmental and lifestyle risk factors such as those mentioned just above, amongst family members.