Screening and Prevention | Cancer Screening

In the fight against cancer, early detection is an important weapon, since cancer is most treatable in its early stages. Many forms of cancer do not display symptoms at their onset, so screening tests are used to monitor for warning signs. Cancer Screenings are available at Karmanos Cancer Institute locations in Bad Axe, Bay City, Clarkston, Detroit, Farmington Hills, Flint, Gaylord, Lansing, Lapeer, Mount Clemens, Mount Pleasant, Petoskey, Pontiac and Port Huron.

Patients who participate in the Screening and Prevention Program at Karmanos Cancer Institute will receive unmatched attention from a specialized team of experts. We use the latest technology and guidelines to make sure that our patients receive accurate and timely results. Our care team will make sure that you feel comfortable throughout the screening process and are able to understand your test results.

If your screening results show signs of cancer, you can take comfort in knowing that you're in expert hands at one of the nation's top cancer centers. Our team will work seamlessly to create a treatment plan that fits your needs and lifestyle.

With early detection, positive screening results can lead to positive outcomes.

A screening program designed for you

Since every patient is unique, screening needs differ by individual. Please call 1-800-KARMANOS to speak with an oncology patient navigator who can help you determine which tests are right for you. If you have a primary care provider, we’ll work together to ensure you have access to the screening you need. However, a referral is not needed to be seen for screening at Karmanos.

If you are a woman between 40-64 years of age who is uninsured or underinsured, you may qualify for free breast and cervical screenings through the Michigan Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP). Women ages 21-39 may qualify as well. Learn more about this program here.

You may need one of the following screenings:

Breast Cancer Screening


Karmanos Cancer Institute is committed to providing innovative and individualized care. Patients have access to the following treatments and resources for breast health:

  • Genius™ 3D Mammogram - A special type of X-ray that is used to detect breast abnormalities.
  • Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - A non-invasive way for your doctor to examine your organs, tissues, and skeletal system.
  • High-risk breast assessment program - This questionnaire helps identify women who may be at an increased risk of developing breast cancer based on personal and family history information.


Karmanos recommends an annual screening mammogram for all women of average risk beginning at age 40. Women with one or more risk factors should talk with their family doctor or a Karmanos expert about when to begin getting mammograms.

Learn more about Breast Cancer Screening - Mammography

Lung Cancer Screening


Screening for lung cancer is a multi-step process. It begins with an office visit to assess needs and risks. Eligible candidates will then undergo low-dose CT scans. These scans are more sensitive than X-rays and can detect abnormalities in the lungs. Scans are then read by a Karmanos radiologist.

Lung cancer screening is covered by Medicare for patients 50-77 years old and most commercial insurance plans cover it for patients 55-80 years old. Typically, there is no out-of-pocket cost for low-dose CT lung screening, but confirm with your health insurance provider.

Karmanos follows the USPSTF guidelines for Lung Cancer Screening.


Adults ages 50-80 who are current smokers or who quit no more than 15 years ago, with at least 20-pack-year smoking history.

Learn more about Lung Cancer Screening

Cervical Cancer Screening


A Papanicolaou test (Pap test) is used to find cell changes or abnormal cells in the cervix.

Cells are swabbed from the cervix then sent to a lab and examined for irregularities. The Pap test finds cancer cells and cells that could become cancerous in the future. An HPV test checks for the presence of the Human Papillomavirus Virus using a swab of the cervix. This virus can sometimes lead to cervical cancer.


Adults with a cervix should begin receiving routine cervical screenings at 25. Adults with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 65 should have a Pap test and an HPV test every five years unless abnormalities are identified. Adults with a cervix age 65 and older do not need to test if they have had negative test results in the past ten years and have no history of cervical dysplasia or a more serious diagnosis within the past 25 years, and do not have a new partner.

Learn more about Cervical Cancer Screening

Colorectal Cancer Screening


A colonoscopy is performed to screen for colorectal cancer. During this process, a small flexible tube with a camera at the tip is inserted into the rectum to detect abnormalities in the large intestine and rectum. Patients are sedated for this procedure. Cologuard is a non-invasive at-home test that screens for colon cancer through a stool sample.


Adults at average risk should begin screening at age 45 and continue every 10 years. Those at an increased risk may begin screening sooner and continue with more frequency.

Learn more about Colorectal Cancer Screening - Colonoscopy

Genetic Counseling


A family history of cancer can increase your own risk for developing the disease. While most cancers occur by chance, it is estimated that about 5-10 percent of cancer cases run in families (hereditary).

The Cancer Genetic Counseling Service can help you learn about the impact your personal and family history has on your chance of developing cancer, as well as the risk to other family members. It can also help you understand your options for prevention, early detection and treatment.


Cancer Genetic Counseling Service is helpful to anyone who has anxiety and/or concern about their risk of cancer. This service is useful if you have any of the following:

  • Several relatives with cancer
  • A personal or family history of a rare or unusual cancer, such as male breast cancer
  • A relative with more than one type of cancer
  • A personal or family history of cancer under the age of 50

Learn more about Genetic Counseling

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Additional Screenings

At Karmanos, we understand that every patient is unique. This means that cancer screening needs vary between individuals. Based on age, sex, family history and risk factors, some people may need to undergo one or more of the screenings listed below. Other people may not need any of these screenings. This wide variance makes it important to discuss cancer screening with your doctor to determine what is right for you.

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test

This blood test measures levels of PSA, a protein made by cells in the prostate. Higher levels of this antigen may indicate prostate cancer or another problem with the prostate. However, many factors can cause elevated PSA levels thus elevated levels do not always indicate the presence of prostate cancer. It is important to thoroughly discuss your medical history, medications and other background information with your health care provider before undergoing PSA testing.

Head and Neck Cancer Screenings

There are a variety of cancers that may occur in the head and neck. Screening for these cancers is done with a physical examination of the face, neck, mouth and oropharynx. The exam is often included in a routine physical exam and during a dental examination.

Karmanos Cancer Institute offers a free yearly head and neck screening event for those interested in or concerned about cancers of this region.

Skin Cancer Screening

During this exam, a medical provider will check the skin for irregularities which may include abnormal coloration, texture or marks. If an abnormality is detected, a biopsy may be recommended.

Ovarian Cancer Screening

Ovarian cancer screening can be completed in multiple ways. Your doctor will determine what, if any methods are appropriate.

  • Pelvic Exam – During a pelvic exam, a health care professional feels the ovaries to check their size, shape, and consistency.
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound (TVUS) - During a TVUS, an ultrasound wand is inserted into the vagina and sound waves are used to detect masses on the ovaries. A TVUS cannot distinguish between a cancerous and non-cancerous mass. 

Karmanos follows the screening guidelines set forth by the American Cancer Society.

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