At Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, we know that routine cancer screenings can help prevent and detect cancer early when it’s most treatable.
Screenings can be lifesaving and it’s important to get your screenings when they are recommended. Most screenings are covered by health insurance as preventative services. Funds may be available for those underinsured or uninsured. Ellis Fischel also partners with the Show Me Healthy Women program, which offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings for Missouri women who meet age, income and insurance guidelines.
As an academic health system, we follow the American College of. Radiology guidelines for mammograms and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network for men’s health exams.
COVID-19 vaccine considerations
The COVID-19 vaccines have been shown in some cases to cause lymph nodes in the armpit to swell, especially on the side where the shot was administered. This swelling can make the nodes visible on a mammogram and could be mistaken as a lump.
Because of this, patients should consider avoiding routine screening mammograms within four to six weeks of vaccination. This is only for routine screening mammograms. You should not delay a mammogram that is needed because of a new breast symptom or abnormal check.
If you have recently been vaccinated, please let your care team know the date of your vaccination and the side you received your injection.
At our clinic, we offer women a wide variety of screening options, beginning with breast cancer. We provide mammograms, which are X-ray photos of your breasts that show indications of breast cancer. Mammograms should begin at age 40 and vary depending on your age. We recommend the following screening schedule:
Women ages 40-44 are encouraged to talk with their doctor and have a mammogram each year with a clinical breast exam.
Women age 45-54 years old should get a mammogram every year with a clinical breast exam.
Women 55 years old and older can switch to mammograms every two years or can continue yearly mammograms with a clinical breast exam.
Women should also know how their breasts normally look and feel, and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away.
Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRIs along with mammograms. Learn about our high-risk breast clinic. Talk with your doctor about your risk for breast cancer and the best screening plan for you. Our screening clinic offers same-day appointments for your convenience.
Finding and treating skin cancer or melanoma early gives our patients the best outcomes. Starting at age 21, we recommend you get a whole-body skin exam every year if you identify with one or more of the following:
- Exposure to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays of sun light.
- Family history of melanoma
- History of blistery sunburn
- More than 50 moles on your body
- Red hair and freckles
- Personal skin cancer history
- Tanning bed use
If you are currently seeing a dermatologist, he or she can also provide you with a yearly skin screening. If you find an area of concern, please call our dermatologists at 573-882-4800 to schedule an appointment.
Cervical Cancer Screening - HPV and Pap/Pelvic Exams
Pap and HPV tests can be used to screen for cervical cancer. Depending on your age and your last test, your doctor will recommend how often you should be screened.
Women should begin screenings with the pap test at age 21. If screening results are normal, doctors might recommend waiting three years before the next pap test.
For women ages 25-65:
- If you choose a pap test only and the results are normal, you should be screened again within three years.
- If you choose the HPV test and your results are normal, your doctor might suggest waiting five years before your next screening. The HPV test looks at your cells to see if they contain the HPV virus, which can cause cancer. You can begin the HPV test at age 25.
- If you have the HPV test along with a pap test and your results are normal, you will need to be screened again within five years.
In general, all healthy women should continue to be screened with a pap test regardless of age. If you've had your cervix removed and do not have a history of precancerous or cancerous tumors, you do not need to continue screening.
Women with a history of cervical cancer or serious cervical precancer should continue to be tested at least 25 years after diagnosis, even if testing continues past the age of 65 or if the cervix has been removed.
Please contact your primary care provider or gynecologist to schedule a screening appointment.
Men’s Wellness Exams
Screening for prostate cancer should be individualized and involve shared decision-making between the patient and their provider. For men between the ages of 55-69, discuss your risk for prostate cancer with your doctor to determine if screening is appropriate.
Certain ethnic groups such as African American men or those with a family history of prostate cancer should talk with their doctor about screening beginning at age 45.
Please contact your primary care physician to schedule an appointment to discuss screening options.
Participating in appropriate screenings for colorectal cancer can greatly reduce your risk. Most people should start screening at age 50. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you should start screening even earlier. Colonoscopy, one screening method, is available at Missouri Digestive Health Center - Fairview Clinic with a physician referral. Schedule your colonoscopy today by calling 573-882-1434.
Lung Cancer Screening
Lung cancer is most treatable in early stages, and a yearly screening is one of the best ways to detect lung cancer early. Ellis Fischel offers a lung cancer screening program for eligible patients. Call our office today at 573-884-7770 to learn if you're eligible, or ask your physician to provide you with a referral.