At Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health, we believe early detection is the best prevention against cancer. Follow the recommended screening guidelines and stay current on your cancer screenings, such as an annual mammogram screening for women beginning at age 40 and a colonoscopy for women and men at the age of 50. For those who may be at a higher risk for cancer, earlier screenings may be recommended by your physician.

Understanding your personal risk for cancer is also one of the first steps in preventing cancer. Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute offers genetic risk assessment and counseling to women and men who have concerns about their personal and/or family history of cancer. Participants are provided with personalized information regarding genetic influences, specific cancer risks and targeted screening and prevention options.

A simple first step to understanding your personal risk for breast cancer is our BE Aware Program (Breast Education Awareness) offered across our health system. At these 75 minute events, attendees will meet with one of our breast health experts and a genetic counselor in a group format to better understand breast health and individualized options for managing their personal risk.

askSARAH Cancer Screening Information

Screening 101

Breast Cancer

  • Age 20+ monthly breast self-exams
  • Ages 20-40 breast exam by your physician or practitioner every 3 years
  • Age 40+ mammogram and breast exam by your physician or practitioner annually
Calculate your breast cancer risk by visiting cancer.gov/bcrisktool

Cervical Cancer

  • Ages 21-29 pap test every 3 years
  • Ages 30-65 pap test and HPV test every 5 years
  • Age 65+ women with normal history should stop testing*
*Women with an abnormal diagnosis should be tested for 20 years following the result, even if testing continues past age 65. A woman whose uterus and cervix have been removed for non-cervical cancer reasons, and who has no history of cervical or pre-cervical cancer, should not be tested.

Colorectal Cancer

  • Age 50+ flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years of colonoscopy every 10 years. Dependent on your risk, there are alternative tests. Consult with your physician for more information.

Lung Cancer

  • Ages 55-74 current smokers or those who have quit within the past 15 years and who have at least a 30 pack-year smoking history should have a low-dose CT scan. A pack year is the number of cigarette packs per day times the number of years you have smoked (1 pack/day for 30 years is a 30 pack year history, and so is 2 packs/day for 15 years)

Skin Cancer

  • Age 20+ regular full body skin self-exams and skin exams by your doctor. Those at high risk for skin cancer include those with reduced immunity, personal history of skin cancer, and a strong family history of skin cancer.

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Our Partners in Cancer Prevention