COMMON CANCERS & Screenings


The American Cancer Society estimates that 4 out of 10 adults in the U.S. will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. Cancer can strike at any time, but early detection saves lives.

It is important to assess your individual risk for cancer based on your family history, lifestyle and personal health and to have regular screenings to monitor for any signs of cancer. Maury Regional Health recommends all adults consult with their primary care provider about their cancer risk and the appropriate screenings to schedule.

Some common cancer screenings include those looking for:

For those who have been diagnosed with cancer, Maury Regional Health offers comprehensive treatment from a multidisciplinary team of physicians and clinical staff who are committed to providing state-of-the-art care. Learn more about our cancer services, including the care provided at the Maury Regional Cancer Center in Columbia, at Cancer.MauryRegional.com.

Cancer doesn’t wait — even during a pandemic — and neither should you.

BREAST CANCER

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the breast. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. The best defense against breast cancer is early detection.

Mammograms can detect breast cancer in its early stage before any signs or symptoms may be present. Maury Regional Health recommends all women ages 40 and older receive a mammogram every year.

Learn more about mammography services available at Maury Regional Health locations at MauryRegional.com/Breast-Health. To schedule a mammogram, call 931.380.4044.

CERVICAL CANCER

Cervical cancer occurs in the cells of a woman’s cervix, which connects the vagina to the uterus. All women are at risk for developing cervical cancer, but it is most common in women over age 30.

Most cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a common virus that can be passed between partners during sex. In many cases, HPV does not cause symptoms and will go away on its own; however, if it does not clear up naturally, it may mean there is an increased risk for developing cervical cancer in the future.

Screenings for cervical cancer typically take place at a woman’s OB-GYN or primary care provider. There are two common types of screening, including:

  • A Pap smear to look for precancerous cells
  • An HPV test that looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes

Like HPV, there may be no signs or symptoms of cervical cancer in its early stages. That’s why the American Cancer Society recommends screening for cervical cancer beginning at age 25. Those between the ages of 25 and 65 should have another screening test every three to five years. Talk with your doctor for guidance on a screening timeline to meet your specific needs.

If you have children, ask your child’s doctor about the benefits of HPV vaccination. The CDC recommends all children receive two doses of the HPV vaccine between the ages of 11 and 12. For teenagers and adults who did not receive the HPV vaccine as children, experts still recommend vaccination up to age 26. Talk with your doctor for additional guidance.

Learn more about well-woman care services at Maury Regional Medical Group OB-GYN, including cervical cancer screenings, at MauryRegionalMedicalGroup.com.

COLORECTAL CANCER

Colorectal cancer affects the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum. This form of cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., claiming more than 50,000 lives each year. Colorectal cancer is preventable and treatable — the key is getting screened.

Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended for all adults ages 50 and older or sometimes earlier for those with a:

  • Family history of colorectal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • A personal history of polyps

Colonoscopy is considered the “gold standard” and is the most effective screening tool for colorectal cancer. However, additional screening options are also available. Use the chart available here to speak with your doctor about the appropriate screening option for your specific health needs.

Learn more at MauryRegional.com/Colorectal-Screening.

LUNG CANCER

Cancers affecting the lungs are responsible for more deaths in the U.S. than any other type of cancer. While anyone can develop lung cancer, individuals who smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to get and/or die from lung cancer than those who do not smoke.

Maury Regional Health is committed to finding lung cancer at an early stage by offering screenings to identify abnormalities in the lungs before any signs or symptoms appear. Most insurance providers will cover a CT lung screening if a patient meets the following qualifications:

  • Is between the ages of 55 and 77
  • Has no signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • Has a tobacco smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (one pack-year = smoking one pack, or 20 cigarettes, per day for one year)
  • Is a current smoker or one who has quit within the last 15 years
  • Has received a written order from your primary care provider

If you qualify, talk with your doctor to discuss next steps and scheduling. For those who do not meet these qualifications, a self-referral chest CT screening is offered as a self-pay option for $100. Call 931.380.4044 to schedule. 

Learn more at MauryRegional.com/Lung-Screening.

PROSTATE CANCER

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that occurs when cells in a man’s prostate begin to grow abnormally. It is the second most common cancer among men. But while prostate cancer is fairly common, most prostate cancers are small and slow growing — meaning they may not be fatal.

If you are experiencing urinary or performance issues or have a family history of prostate cancer, consult with your doctor about screening options. Five key warning signs of advanced prostate cancer to watch out for include:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blood in urine
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction

There are two primary types of screenings available for prostate cancer: (1) the prostate-specific antigen blood test and (2) a digital rectum exam. If the results from either exam come back abnormal, your physician may prescribe additional follow-up testing, such as a prostate biopsy, to make a definitive diagnosis.

Talk with your primary care provider to see if a prostate cancer screening is right for you.

SKIN CANCER

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., affecting nearly 5 million people each year. One of the most common causes of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or artificial sources. As exposure to these UV rays adds up over time, the risk of developing skin cancer also increases.

Early detection and treatment can save lives and reduce the risk of possible disfigurement.

If you notice any changes to your skin — including new growths, a sore that is not healing or a change in a mole — consult with your doctor to discuss screening and treatment options.

Learn more about skin cancer here.

TESTICULAR CANCER

Testicular cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer that often originates in germ cells, where sperm are made. This form of cancer is most frequently diagnosed in young men (typically but not always between the ages of 20 and 34).

Signs of testicular cancer can include but are not limited to:

  • Lumps or swelling in either testicle
  • Pain in the lower back, abdomen or groin
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain or cough
  • Headaches or confusion
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts

If you experience these symptoms or notice any irregularities on either testicle, consult your doctor or a urologist as soon as possible.

ADDITIONAL screening RECOMMENDATIONS

Maury Regional Health encourages all individuals to be aware of the recommended screenings for preventive care and to work with your primary care provider on a wellness plan that includes proper nutrition, exercise and screenings.

Additional screenings may be recommended by your primary care provider based on factors that include physical condition, symptoms or family history. Talk with your doctor during your next annual visit to learn more. If you do not have a personal physician, visit our "Find A Doctor" tool and search by specialty or go to MauryRegionalMedicalGroup.com for an overview of all primary care practices and providers in the Maury Regional Medical Group network.