Cancer Screenings and Diagnostics

At Beacon Health System, we’re committed to detecting cancer early. We provide comprehensive tests to diagnose and stage all types of cancer.

Cancer Screenings

Cancer screenings are tests that are performed when you’re not experiencing symptoms. They’re an effective way to catch cancer in its earliest stages. Not all cancers have screening tests, and some are only recommended if you’re at high risk for a certain type of cancer.

Screening Recommendations

We’ve included general guidelines for some of the most common cancer screenings. If you’re at high risk for cancer, your doctor may recommend a different screening schedule. Talk to your doctor about what cancer screenings you should get and when.

Breast Cancer Screenings

The following screening guidelines are for women with an average risk for breast cancer.

Women under age 40:

  • Breast self-exams – monthly
  • Clinical breast exams – every three years
  • Mammograms – not needed unless there are symptoms present

Women over age 40:

  • Breast self-exams – monthly
  • Clinical breast exams – yearly
  • Mammograms – yearly

If you have an increased risk for breast cancer, your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent screenings.

Beacon Breast Care Services

At Beacon Health System, we offer comprehensive breast care.

To make a screening or diagnostic mammogram appointment, call:

You need a doctor’s order for a diagnostic mammogram, but not for a screening mammogram.

Cervical Cancer Screening

The following screening guidelines are for women with an average risk for cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a main risk factor for cervical cancer. Even if you’ve had the HPV vaccine, you should still follow the screening recommendations for your age group.

Women ages 21 to 29:

  • Pap test – every three years
  • HPV test – only if abnormal Pap test results

Women age 30 to 65:

Pap test alone every three years or Pap test and HPV test every five years

Women over age 65 or who have had a hysterectomy:

No need for cervical cancer screening unless there’s a history of cervical cancer or pre-cancer

If you have an increased risk for cervical cancer, your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent screenings.

Beacon Gynecologic Cancer Care

At Beacon Health System, we offer comprehensive gynecologic cancer care.

Colorectal Cancer Screenings

There are many screening tests for colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor about which ones are right for you. The following screening guidelines are for men and women with an average risk for colorectal cancer.

Men and women age 50 and over:

  • Fecal occult blood test – yearly (or)
  • Fecal immunochemical test – yearly (or)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – every five years (or)
  • Double-contrast barium enema – every five years (or)
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) – every five years (or)
  • Colonoscopy – every 10 years

If you have an increased risk for colorectal cancer, your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent screenings.

Lung Cancer Screenings

Some doctors recommend a low-dose CT scan for people who are at high risk of developing lung cancer. A low-dose CT scan is an imaging procedure that provides multiple, cross-sectional images of inside your chest using less radiation than traditional CT scans. If you’re a current or former smoker or have a family history of lung cancer, talk to your doctor about possible screening.

Beacon Lung Cancer Care

At Beacon Health System, we offer comprehensive lung cancer care.

To schedule a lung cancer screening, call:

  • Elkhart General Hospital Thoracic Oncology Clinic at 574.523.7850
  • Memorial Thoracic Oncology Clinic at 574.647.1100

Prostate Cancer Screenings

The following screening guidelines are for men with an average risk for prostate cancer.

Men age 50 and over should see their doctor for a rectal exam and PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test. If the PSA results are above 2.5, screening should be done every year. If the PSA results are below 2.5, screening can be done every two years.

If you have an increased risk for prostate cancer, your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent screenings.

Beacon Prostate Cancer Care

At Beacon Health System, we offer comprehensive prostate cancer care.