Screening and Prevention Program

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.

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:



Mammography is a special type of X-ray that is used to detect breast abnormalities.


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.

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.


Men and women ages 55-80 who are current smokers or who quit no more than 15 years ago, with at least 30-pack-year smoking history.

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.


Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should have a Pap test every three years. Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should have a Pap test and an HPV test every five years or a Pap test alone every three years. Women age 65 and older who have had regular screenings and normal results can cease screening.

Colorectal Cancer Screening


During a colonoscopy, 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.


Men and women 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.

Appointment Information

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

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