What are some common types of screenings?

Here's a guide to commons health care screenings including mammograms, colonoscopy and more.


January 27, 2023 - 2:42 PM

Following is an overview of screenings provided by the Saint Luke’s Health System at Allen County Regional Hospital in Iola and Anderson County Hospital in Garnett.


CardioScan, or coronary artery calcium scan, is a special CT scan that detects calcified plaque in coronary arteries. The plaque indicates the presence of coronary artery disease. As more plaque builds up, arteries narrow and the risk of heart attack increases.

Recommended if one or more of the following criteria is met:

• Age 60 or older

• Mother or sister were diagnosed with heart disease at 65 or younger

• Father or brother were diagnosed with heart disease at age 55 or younger

• Have a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol), stroke, peripheral vascular disease or tobacco use, either current or former.

A CardioScan costs $60 and takes about 10 minutes. A referral from a primary care provider or cardiologist is required.


Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. However, a large majority of deaths related to the cancer could be prevented with a screening.

Colonoscopy is a procedure that lets your healthcare provider check the inside of your entire large intestine or colon. The American Cancer Society now recommends people who are at average risk start regular screenings at the age of 45. (Previously recommended at age 50.)

Screenings allow doctors to detect any polyps and remove them before they become cancerous. If abnormal polyps are found during a colonoscopy, the endoscopist can remove them during the screening in most cases.

Most cases of colorectal cancer are age and genetics-related, but eating too much red meat, obesity, and lack of physical activity does increase your risk. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. There is some evidence that shows eating more fiber, vegetables, and fruits, as well as  taking aspirin on a regular basis may reduce the risk of the development of polyps. However, you should consult with your doctor before starting any new medication

Both a general surgeon and gastroenterologist can perform a colonoscopy.


The number one method for detecting breast cancer is an annual mammogram. A mammogram is an X- ray image of your breast. It is used to find and diagnose breast disease in women. Your healthcare provider may order a mammogram if you have a breast problem such as a lump, pain, or discharge from a nipple. Your provider may also order one as a screening test.

Different health experts have different recommendations for women who have no symptoms of breast cancer:

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening every 2 years for women ages 50 to 74.

The American Cancer Society recommends screening be an option for women who are at average risk, starting at age 40. Mammograms should be done every year for all women ages 45 to 54. Then you can switch to mammograms every 2 years. Or you have the choice to continue annual mammograms.

Talk with your healthcare provider to find out which screening guidelines are right for you.

DEXA CT scan for testing bone density

A DEXA bone density test can be used to confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis and determine your rate of bone loss. The earlier osteoporosis can be diagnosed, the sooner treatment can be started to improve the condition and/or keep it from getting worse.

A healthcare provider may recommend a screening for patients who have risk factors for osteoporosis including:

• Post-menopausal women not taking estrogen

• Advancing age, women over 65 and men over 70

• Smoking

• Family history of hip fracture

• Using steroids long-term or certain other medicines

• Certain diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, liver disease, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, or hyperparathyroidism

• Excessive alcohol consumption

• Low BMI (body mass index)

Low-dose CT scan for early detection of lung cancer

The guidelines vary slightly among groups. But in general, they recommend that people be screened or talk with their healthcare provider about screening if they:

• Are 55 to 74, or slightly older. Check with your insurance plan, because some plans may extend the age limit to 77 or even 80.

• Are current or former smokers. Former means quitting within the last 15 years.

• Have at least a 30 pack-year history of smoking.

• Are in good enough health to be helped by screening. This means that if an early lung cancer is found on screening, they would be able to survive lung surgery to remove it.

A referral from your primary care provider or specialist is required. Insurance coverage varies, so check with your insurance provider.



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