Cancer Screenings at VCC

Early detection of cancer through screening reduces risk of death from cancer, including cervical, breast and colon. At VCC, we screen for these diseases to ensure a long, healthy life.
Screening prevents cancer through the detection and removal of precancerous growths, detecting cancer at an early stage, when treatment can be successful.

Breast Cancer Screening: Detect breast cancer with the right test at the right time
FAQS:
  • Why test?
    • Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among US women and is the second leading cause of death.
    • About 1 in 8 women born in the U.S. today will get breast cancer at some point in their lives.
  • Why should I get this test?
    • Women ages 50 to 74 should obtain a screening mammogram.
    • If you have a family history of breast cancer and are between the ages of 40-49 you should talk to your doctor about getting screened early.
  • How often do I need to get this test?
    • It is recommended that a screening mammogram is completed every other year. However, your insurance may cover the exam every year.
  • What test do i need to screen for breast cancer?
    • The test is called a mammogram, and it is an x-ray of the breast to find abnormalities and any changes within the breast tissue.
    • During the procedure the breast is placed between two plastic plates and compressed to flatten and spread it. This is necessary to get a good picture of the breast tissue that will be examined by the radiologist.
  • How to prepare for the test?
    • No preparation is needed. You can also have the screening test without an order from  your doctor.
    • The mammogram can be done at an imaging center.
  • What to expect after the test?
    • Results may be available within two weeks.
    • If the results are abnormal, additional imaging or a follow up mammogram will be requested. If further testing and treatment is needed, your doctor will discuss next steps.

Still have questions or what to know more? Come in to see your Primary Care Provider at your preferred VCC location.

Click here for more information about Breast Cancer.

Watch our clinician, Dr. Sefa, talk about what to expect from a Breast Cancer screening below:

Cervical Cancer Screening
FAQS:
  • Why test?
    • This screening test is used to detect cervical cancer, which can be prevented by getting a regular Pap.
    • ALL women are at risk for cervical cancer—whether sexually active or not. It occurs most often in women over the age of 30.
    • Each year, approximately 12,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.
    • If caught and treated early, cervical cancer is not life threatening.
  • When should I get this test?
    • It is recommended that women between the ages of 21 and 65 get a regular Pap.
    • For women ages 30 and older, it is recommended they also get screened for HPV.
  • How do I prepare for the test?
    • No preparation is needed.
    • The Pap smear test can be done at anytime, even while on your menstrual period.
    • A pap exam is recommended even if you have never had sex.
  • How often should I get this test?
    • Based on your age and health history, your doctor may recommend cervical cancer screening every 3 to 5 years. But, an annual visit with your doctor is recommended once a year.
  • What test do I need to screen for Cervical Cancer?
    • The test is called a Pap smear and it needs a sample of the cells in the cervix. The cervix is at the end of the uterus and is the part that opens when a woman has a baby. This is also the area where cancer cells can grow. The sample is obtained by using a soft brush and swirling it around the cervix. It is then sent to the lab to look for two things where they will look at the cells closely and see if there are small/tiny changes. The test can also see the HPV virus which can cause those cells to change.

  • What happens after the test?
    • You may receive the result within two weeks.
    • If the result is abnormal, further testing will be needed and your doctor will talk to you about the next steps.

Still have questions or want to know more? Come in to see your Primary Care Provider at your preferred VCC location.

Click here for more information about Cervical Cancer.

Watch our clinician, Dr. Sefa, talk about what to expect from a Cervical Cancer screening below:

Colorectal Cancer Screening: Prevent Colorectal Cancer with the right test at the right time.
FAQS:
    • Why test?
      • Obtaining this test can find colorectal cancer at an early stage and prevent this cancer.
      • Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women who are 50 years and older and is the second deadliest in the United States.
      • According to the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention, “Millions of people in the United States are not getting screened as recommended. They are missing the chance to prevent colorectal cancer or find it early, when treatment often leads to a cure.”
    • When should I get this test?
      • Men and women between the ages 50 to 74 should obtain this screening test.
    • How often do I have to get this test?
      • Based on your family history and your health history your doctor will recommend a FIT (Lab) test every year, or a colonoscopy every 10 years.
    • How do I test for Colorectal Cancer?
      • The most commonly used tests are the FIT and the colonoscopy: A FIT (fecal immunochemical test), which is a lab test, uses antibodies or a blood protein to identify blood in the stool. Presence of blood in the stool can be an early sign of cancer in the colon. A Colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a long, thin, flexible, lighted tube to look for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and the whole colon.
      • If your doctor recommends a FIT as your screening method, every year you will be given a FIT card to take home to collect a small sample of your feces. Remember to follow the instructions provided in the FIT card and ensure you include (name of paperwork that includes lab info). You can drop it off at one our clinic sites and we will send out it out to the lab or you can mail it. Once the sample has arrived at the lab, it will be inspected for possible hidden blood cells in the stool.
      • If your doctor recommends a colonoscopy as your colorectal cancer screening method, your doctor will refer you to a Gastroenterologist. Our referral’s department will provide you with the Gastroenterologist office information once your referral has been approved. This exam is completed every 10 years. This is usually done under general anesthesia and a flexible camera, known as a colonoscope, is used to examine the colon. This procedure can look for pre-cancer polyps and tumors. If found early enough they can be removed and treated during the same screening procedure.
    • How to prepare for the test?
      • For the FIT test: no preparation or special diet is needed only the collection of the fecal sample that is done at home. Once the sample is collected it needs to be sent to the lab for processing. It is important that the order is included.
      • For the colonoscopy test, a consult with the gastroenterologist is first needed to discuss the procedure risks and preparation for this study. Once the consult is completed, the gastroenterologist office will schedule the procedure.
    • What happens after the test?
      • For the FIT test:
        • If the result is normal you will not need further testing until you are due for your next yearly FIT.
        • If the result is abnormal, further testing will be recommended. You will be contacted about the next steps required.
      • For the colonoscopy test:
        • If the result is normal, you may not need further testing until you are due again in 10 years.
        • If the result is abnormal, the gastroenterologist will often treat you during the colonoscopy and will conduct further testing to gather all information needed to treat early any suspicious cancer findings.

    Still have questions or want to know more? Come in to see your Primary Care Provider at your preferred VCC location.

    Click here for more information about Colorectal Cancer.

    Watch our clinician, Dr. Sefa, talk about what to expect from a Colon Cancer screening below: