Cancer Screenings

Catch Cancer Early

Cancer screening is an important step to detecting cancer in its earliest stages – when it may be easier to treat or cure.

Screening often can catch cancer before you have noticeable symptoms. At Sanford Health, we provide the latest in imaging technology and screening methods to ensure precise and detailed results.

Below are screening guidelines for some of the most common cancers. It’s important to talk with your doctor at every visit for what screening and timing is best for you based on your family history, genetics and other risk factors. You also can learn strategies to help prevent cancer. 

Learn more about Cancer Care

 

Should I Get Screened for Cancer?

Everyone should get screened. Cancers are most treatable in their early stages. It is important to get screened for cancer early, even before you feel symptoms. By catching cancer when it is most treatable, you'll increase your chances of survival.

Below are the guidelines for specific cancers that have a recommended screening. Talk to your doctor to know how your family and personal history affect these recommendations.

Other types of cancers do not have a set screening recommendation or test. It is important to talk with your primary care doctor about any changes or symptoms in your health. They can determine special or additional testing that may be needed.

Find the latest cancer screening news and stories on Sanford Health News.


Convenient Scheduling

Talk to your primary care provider to identify the right cancer screening schedule for you. To make an appointment, call a clinic near you or use My Sanford Chart.

Breast Cancer Screening

Cervical Cancer Screening
Women should get cervical cancer screenings starting at age 21. These screenings can be part of your wellness visits.

Schedule a visit with your primary care provider through My Sanford Chart or by calling your local clinic.

Colorectal Cancer Screening
If you’re over 45-years-old and due for a colorectal screening, schedule an appointment by calling your clinic or request a colonoscopy through My Sanford Chart. Select Menu and click Request a Colonoscopy in the Communication section.

If you’re under 45-years-old, having symptoms, have a family history of colon cancer or would like to consider other screening options, discuss your options with your primary care provider.

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Skin Cancer Screenings

Other Screenings
Additional cancer screenings, such as prostate cancer and lung cancer screenings, are available based on your personal risk.

Talk to your primary care provider to understand your risks and the best screening options for you.

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Cancer Screening Guidelines

Breast Cancer Screening

There’s a lot you can do to be proactive about your breast health, including completing regular screenings and annual exams. Your doctor will provide recommendations for you based on your personal and family history.

For many patients, this involves:


  • Routine self-exams to gain breast awareness
  • Breast exams at your wellness visits throughout your 20s and 30s
  • Yearly mammograms starting at age 40

To learn more about breast health, visit the Edith Sanford Breast Center website.

Schedule your mammogram today.

Sanford Women’s is at the forefront of revising the breast screening guidelines. Join the WISDOM Study to help end the breast screening confusion.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer can be preventable. Take precautions and get your HPV vaccination in addition to regular screenings. There are currently no guidelines to preventing ovarian cancer, but women who make some lifestyle choices can reduce their risk.


  • Patients can get an HPV vaccination as early as age 9.
  • Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should have a Pap test every three years.
  • Women ages 30 to 65 should have a Pap test and an HPV screening every five years.

Learn more about cervical cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal cancer screening helps find polyps, or abnormal tissue growths, inside your colon so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

Your screening options include:


  • A colonoscopy, which is a procedure where a physician uses a scope to examine the lining of the colon.
  • A fecal immunochemical test (FIT) checks for hidden blood in the stool.
  • A FIT-DNA checks for hidden blood in the stool, as well as detects DNA changes.

If you’re at average risk for colorectal cancer, get screened starting at age 45. Discuss your risks and which screening options are best for you with your primary care provider.

Lung Cancer Screening

Get screened for lung cancer if you are:

  • Between the ages of 50 and 80 (age criteria may depend on your insurance company)
  • A current tobacco user or quit in the last 15 years
  • Smoking or had smoked over 20 packs a year

Tell your physician if you’ve experienced any of the following, as they may prevent you from having a lung screening:

  • Recent coughing up blood
  • Unexplained weight loss of more than 15 pounds in a year
  • Had pneumonia or an upper respiratory infection in the three months leading up to your lung screening

Prostate Cancer Screening

Men ages 55 to 69 can choose to get screened for prostate cancer with periodic prostate-specific antigen-based screening.

Talk to your primary care provider to learn if this screening is right for you.

Skin Cancer Screening

You may need to undergo skin cancer screenings depending on your personal and family risk factors.

We recommend getting familiar with your normal pattern of freckles, moles and blemishes with:

  • Monthly skin self-exams
  • Yearly visual skin exams by your primary care provider or dermatologist

Sanford Health News

Classes & Events

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    3D Mammography Screening

    Thu 08/18/22 8:00 AM - Thu 08/18/22 11:00 AM
    Sanford Canton-Inwood Medical Center

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    3D Mammography Screening

    Thu 08/18/22 8:00 AM - Thu 08/18/22 11:00 AM
    Sanford 32nd and Ellis Clinic