Skip to main content

Cancer Screening

Cancer screenings help identify cancer at its earliest stages, which is when it’s most treatable. These tests can even help your doctor identify abnormalities before they become cancerous and begin to cause symptoms.

Request an appointment

Staying one step ahead of cancer

No two cancer experiences are the same. But everyone’s journey starts with a thorough evaluation. As many as 30–50% of cancer cases can be prevented with simple efforts, such as lifestyle changes and cancer screenings.

So whether you’re looking for an explanation for mysterious symptoms or have a family history of certain diseases, we’ll use the latest cancer diagnostic methods to chart a path forward.

Amber Gross, SRNA (nurse assistant), Heidi MacFarlane, RN, Jason Hall, MD and Sharma Joseph, MD preparing patient for colon and rectal surgery
Find a doctor near me


We understand that receiving a cancer diagnosis is never easy. With early detection, some cancers can be treated more easily with better success outcomes than others, like:

Breast cancer
Cervical cancer
Colorectal cancer
Lung cancer
Prostate cancer
Skin cancer


Cancer screenings can take several different forms, including imaging exams, laboratory tests, physical exams and genetic testing. Screenings are especially important if you have a family history of cancer.

Breast cancer screenings

One in 8 women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB) can get it, too. That’s why everyone should know about screening options like a mammogram, breast MRI and clinical breast exams because we can act early and effectively if something is detected.

We encourage people who have one or a combination of the following factors to pursue breast cancer screenings:

  • BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer gene
  • History of chest radiation between ages 10–30 
  • Immediate relative (parent, sibling or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation
  • Increased lifetime risk of developing breast cancer
  • Rare genetic disease that increases the risk of breast cancer

As part of the screening process, our experts will:

  • Review your family history and other risk factors
  • Provide a personal risk assessment
  • Perform a clinical breast exam and teach you how to perform one at home 
  • Discuss and offer genetic testing for breast cancer, if applicable
  • Provide individualized cancer prevention and screening information
Cervical cancer screenings

Cervical cancer affects women and AFABs. Talk with your doctor about these screening methods:

  • Pap tests
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) tests
Colorectal cancer screening

Screening is highly effective in preventing colon cancer because it allows for the immediate removal of polyps found during the procedure and provides a real-time view of the colon to identify any areas of concern.

Lung cancer screenings

Lung cancer can affect anyone. However, if you have factors that place you at higher risk, talk with your doctor about screenings that can detect the presence of lung cancer before you show any signs or symptoms. This is important because finding lung cancer early can make it easier to treat.

Prostate cancer screenings

Behind skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and AMABs. It’s also preventable and can be treated when detected early on with these screenings:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Prostate cancer screenings (digital rectal exam)
Skin cancer screenings

Skin cancer is curable but there are steps you should take to stay ahead of your skin health especially if you or your family has a history of skin cancer:

Anasuya Gunturi MD, PhD talks with patient at Lowell General Hospital's Women's Wellness Center clinic appointment.
Our locations

From regular office visits to inpatient stays, find the healthcare you need and deserve close to home.

Understand what you may pay for care at Tufts Medicine with our price estimate tool.

Jump back to top