Health Alert:

Starting Feb. 29, masking is optional but encouraged in UPMC medical facilities and most patient care settings.

1_5 prevention

Screening & Detection

Routine cancer screenings save lives.

Cancer screenings:

  • Test people for early stages of cancer before they have symptoms.
  • Can show changes in the body that we can test for cancer.
  • Help detect early-stage cancers when they're easier to treat.

Who Should Get Cancer Screenings?

The American Cancer Society urges the following screenings for those with an average risk of cancer:

  • Mammograms for women 40 and over.
  • Colonoscopy for men and women 45 and over.
  • Cervical cancer screening for women 25 and over.
  • Lung cancer screening for people who:
    1. Have smoked for 30 years or more.
    2. Are currently smoking.
    3. Have smoked in the last 15 years.
  • If you are at higher risk for cancer, your doctor may recommend you start cancer screenings early.

Your doctor may suggest certain cancer screenings as part of your health care plan. This doesn't mean they think you have cancer.

If your doctor suspects that you may have symptoms of cancer, they'll order tests to confirm a diagnosis.

Who Decides the Cancer Screening Guidelines?

Scientists have studied patterns of cancer in people to learn who's more likely to get certain types of cancer. They've also studied what factors in our lives may cause cancer.

This data sometimes helps doctors decide:

  • Who should have screenings for certain types of cancer.
  • What types of screening tests people should have.
  • How often people should have these tests.

Types of Cancer Screenings

There are a few ways to screen for cancer:

  • Physical exam: An exam to check for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
  • Lab tests: Samples of blood, tissue, urine, or other substances in the body to test for cancer.
  • Imaging tests: Taking scans of inside the body to look for tumors, growths, or anything else suspicious.
  • Genetic screening tests: Blood tests to look for inherited cancer genes and DNA changes.

Routine Cancer Screenings at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

We offer:

Talk with your doctor about which screenings are right for you.

How To Reduce Your Cancer Risk

  • Stay away from tobacco.
  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Make physical activity part of your routine.
  • Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all).
  • Protect your skin with sunblock.
  • Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
  • Have routine wellness check-ups and cancer screening tests.

Learn More or Make an Appointment for a Cancer Screening

If you have questions about cancer screenings or want to make an appointment: