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Cancer Screening


Cancer screenings can spot cancer before symptoms appear. Early detection often means you can start treatment sooner, which may improve your outcome.

Not everyone is a candidate for cancer screenings. Knowing your risk factors helps you and your doctor decide if and when you should have a certain type of cancer screening. Common risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco use

What to expect

You and your doctor will talk about when you should begin regular cancer screenings.PeaceHealth follows the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for cancer screenings, which are most often based on age and other risk factors.

Remember, a result that isn’t normal doesn’t mean you have cancer. Your doctor will discuss your results and together you’ll decide on next steps. You will likely need more tests, including diagnostic imaging.

Your doctor may also advise you to get a biopsy. This procedure allows your care team to collect a small tissue sample and see if cancer cells are present.

Cancer screening at PeaceHealth

Cancer care begins with prevention. PeaceHealth is here to help you lower your cancer risk and use advanced screenings to spot cancer if it’s there.

Helping you navigate your risk

Everyone’s risk of cancer is different.Your care team is here to help you understand your risk. Genetic testing, counseling, health and wellness classes and a high-risk breast program [link to breast care page]empower you to make better and healthier choices.

Advanced technology to guide detection and treatment

The field of cancer care and screenings for cancer are always evolving. PeaceHealth offers recent advances in technology, including 3D mammography, image-guided biopsies and more, to deliver precise care for you.

Excellent care, expert advice

Navigating cancer screenings can be confusing. Your care team is here to offer you up-to-date advice and recommendations, paired with their specialized insight and knowledge. Together, they will help to create a screening plan tailored to your needs.

Access to the screenings you need

At PeaceHealth, we are committed to delivering access to important cancer screenings around our communities. We are also committed to providing the screenings you need — whether or not you can pay.

Treatments Provided

Breast cancer screening

Breast cancer screenings check for lumps in breast tissue and other results that aren’t normal — which may or may not be cancer. Screenings may include:

  • Breast exam by your doctor – Your doctor will feel for lumps or look for changes in your breast.
  • Digital mammography – Traditional and 3D mammograms take pictures of the breast to look for early signs of cancer. They may detect cancer before you have symptoms.
  • Breast ultrasound – A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create pictures of the breast. Some women with dense breasts or a high risk for cancer may be screened with ultrasound.

Colorectal cancer screening

Colorectal cancer screenings check for polyps or cancer cells in the anus, rectum and colon. Screenings for colorectal cancer include:

  • Digital rectal exam – This painless physical exam allows physicians to check for lumps inside the rectum.
  • Colonoscopy – A small scope with a camera is inserted into the rectum and colon to look for polyps or growths that may signal colorectal cancer.
  • Fecal occult blood tests – These tests look for hidden blood in stool, which may mean colorectal cancer is present.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – Like a colonoscopy, a small scope with a camera is inserted into the body. This lets your doctor view the rectum and lower colon.

Lung cancer screening

PeaceHealth offers low-dose computed tomography (CT) scanning to capture images of the lungs and anything that isn’t normal. You may be a good candidate for a low-dose CT scan if you:

  • Are a current smoker or have quit in the last 15 years.
  • Have a 30-pack-year smoking history (multiply the number of years smoked by the number of packs smoked each day).
  • Discussed benefits and risks of a low-dose CT scan with your doctor.
  • Have had counseling to help quit smoking if you’re a current smoker.

Oral, head and neck cancer screening

This includes a physical exam of your mouth, neck and nose. Your doctor will also ask you screening questions to learn if you have any symptoms that may suggest cancer.

Prostate cancer screening

Early screening may find prostate cancer before it spreads to other parts of the body. Your doctor will discuss if, and when, one of these prostate cancer screenings is right for you.

  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test – A blood test that measures the levels of a protein made by the prostate gland.
  • Digital rectal exam – This is a simple test where the physician feels for changes in the prostate gland.

Gynecologic cancer screening

You and your doctor will discuss when you should have a gynecologic cancer screening, which may include:

  • Pelvic exam – Women should have a yearly pelvic exam. This routine screening allows doctors to assess reproductive organs and check for anything that isn’t normal.
  • Pap test – This common test checks to see if cancer cells are present on the cervix.
  • HPV test – An HPV test checks the cervix for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can sometimes lead to cervical cancer.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound – This internal ultrasound allows your doctor to capture images of your reproductive organs and check for anything that isn’t normal.
  • Blood tests – Your doctor may order a blood test to screen a protein called CA-125. High levels may mean that ovarian cancer is present.

Skin cancer screening

Skin cancer is the most common cancer. Yearly skin exams can find changes that may mean cancer cells are present. Talk to your doctor about a regular melanoma skin exam.

Genetic testing

Genetic testing may help you learn about your risk of having certain types of cancer. PeaceHealth offers genetic testing for people who are at a higher risk of cancer, including those with family history. These test results can help you and your doctor make a decision about your care that’s right for you.

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400 NE Mother Joseph Pl
Vancouver, WA 98664
200 NE Mother Joseph Pl
Suite 420
Vancouver, WA 98664
Exterior view of Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington

PeaceHealth Cancer Services Vancouver

400 NE Mother Joseph Pl
Vancouver, WA 98664
400 NE Mother Joseph Pl
Vancouver, WA 98664
3301 Squalicum Pkwy
Bellingham, WA 98225
exterior of PeaceHealth Family Medicine 505 Building

PeaceHealth Vancouver Gastroenterology

505 NE 87th Ave.
Building B, Suite 301
Vancouver, WA 98664
505 NE 87th Ave.
Building B, Suite 301
Vancouver, WA 98664