Early detection makes a difference

woman making online appointment

Early detection is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer. The best way to detect cancer early is through routine screenings. Learn more about a cancer screenings at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Greater Lansing. Speak with your primary care physician to determine which screenings you should schedule now or later.

Screening Recommendations for Common Cancers

Lung Cancer

Who should be screened?

Those who are at an increased risk of lung cancer are:

  • Adults aged 50-80.
  • Current smokers or former smokers, who have a 20 pack per year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

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.

Breast Cancer

Who should receive a screening mammogram?

Most women should have yearly breast cancer screenings if they:

  • Are 40 years or older.
  • Have a family history of breast cancer, especially a first- or second- degree relative who has had the disease.
  • Have a personal or family history of certain genetic mutations.
  • Have dense breasts.
  • Are considered high risk for breast cancer.

Colon Cancer

Who should be screened?

Generally, 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. Patients are also encouraged to speak with their physician about colonoscopies if they:

  • Have had colorectal cancer before.
  • Have a history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer.
  • Have a family history of colorectal cancer or other genetic factors (e.g. Lynch syndrome, or familial polyposis).
  • Have a personal history of colorectal polyps.
  • Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), also known as Crohn’s disease or Colitis.
  • Are obese and/or are physically inactive.
  • Are regular tobacco or alcohol users.
  • Have a diet that is high fat or high in red or processed meat and low in fiber, calcium, fruit and vegetables.
  • Have Type 2 diabetes.

Prostate Cancer

Who should be screened?

It is recommended that men begin screening at age 45 for men at high-risk (African Americans or those with a first degree relative with prostate cancer at an early age (less than 65). Routine screening recommended for men over the age of 50 with an expected life expectancy of approximately 10-15 years. Screening for men over the age of 70 should be individualized to those with a life expectancy of over 10 years

Prostate Clinic

The prostate clinic is designed to reduce a patient’s time for treatment and deliver the highest quality care dedicated to evaluation and management of patients with an abnormal PSA or DRE screen and who are at high risk of prostate cancer.

The clinic is led by the prostate nurse navigator, a radiation oncologist with extensive training in prostate cancer. If the patient’s PSA is persistently at or greater than 3 ng/ml, the patient should be referred to the prostate clinic for a discussion on his prostate health and further screening. In general if a patient’s PSA is over 5.5 and a free/total PSA is less than 25% then our clinic will recommend a biopsy. If cancer is detected the patient will then be referred to our multi-disciplinary clinic. If a patient does not need a biopsy, a letter will be sent to their primary care physician with an update on routine blood work and a follow-up routine for the elevated PSA while in the clinic.

If patient has a biopsy which is negative he is then on surveillance. If an additional biopsy is recommended after one that is negative then the patient will be scheduled for a MR fusion biopsy. This new technology uses MRI prostate images to target any visible lesions.

Cervical Cancer

Who should be screened?

Early detection is one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against cervical cancer. Symptoms of cervical cancer are rare during the early stages. That’s why routine human papillomavirus (HPV) and papanicolaou testing (Pap test) Pap testing is important. In Lansing, making an appointment with your McLaren primary care physician or gynecologist is the first step of prevention.

Generally, 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.

What is a Pap test?

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

What is an HPV test?

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common sexually-transmitted virus that usually goes away on its own. However, it can sometimes lead to cervical cancer.
  • An HPV test checks for the presence of the virus using a swab of the cervix.

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What should I get screened for?

Speak to your primary care physician to find out if you need to be screened for cancer, and what screening you should get. If you are seeking a new primary care doctor you may view a list of specialists who are accepting new patients within two to four weeks, or less.