We recognize that expert screening and diagnosis are the first steps in quality cancer care. That’s why we place great emphasis on offering the latest technology and resources for these services at Swedish Covenant Hospital.
Consult the American Cancer Society's Early Detection Guidelines to find the appropriate screenings for your age group and ask your doctor about getting one of the below screenings or exams. Call 773-878-6888 to find a doctor at Swedish Covenant Hospital or visit our online physician directory.
Women age 40 and over should have a mammogram every year, which is capable of detecting breast cancer before a lump can be felt.
Swedish Covenant Hospital is equipped with 3-D mammography, also known as tomosynthesis, capable of detecting breast cancer more accurately than traditional mammography to reduce the number of callbacks for additional screenings due to false alarms.
3-D imaging benefits women—especially those who are younger or have dense breasts—by taking multiple sweeping images across the breasts (instead of the single still image taken during 2-D mammograms). This allows physicians and technicians to better detect abnormalities such as masses or nodules by viewing either the individual images or “rolling through” multiple images to look under and behind dense breast tissue.
Mammograms can be scheduled at the Women’s Health Center
within a week. Results will be faxed to your primary care physician, even if they are unaffiliated with Swedish Covenant Hospital.
In addition to up-to-date scans, you should also conduct self-exams monthly. If you are 18 to 39 years old, you should have a clinical breast exam every three years. Once over 40, you should have a yearly clinical breast exam.
To schedule your mammogram, please call 773-878-6888
Learn more about our breast health program>>
Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, but it has a 90% cure rate if caught early. Regular testing is crucial to catching polyps that can grow in the lining of the colon and rectum which may turn into cancer.
Everyone over 50 years old needs regular colon exams, which may include one or more of the following:
• Stool blood tests
examine a sample of the patient’s stool for traces of blood that can’t be seen. Although blood doesn’t necessarily mean cancer, it does let the physician know that further tests should be ordered. You should have this test once a year.
• Flexible sigmoidoscopies
use a flexible scope to see directly inside a portion of the colon. This test should be done every five years.
• Barium enemas
combine barium and air to enable physicians to spot contrasts in the lining of colon which may indicate cancer. Individuals should have this procedure every five years.
use a scope to view the entire colon and remove polyps. This test should occur every 10 years.
Men should begin annual prostate screenings at age 50. Screenings include a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
Men in high-risk groups, such as African American men or men who have a close family history of prostate cancer, should begin screenings at 45. It is also recommended that men have a baseline PSA once they turn 45.
Men and women between 18 and 39 years old should get a skin exam during check-ups (at least once every three years) and once a year after age 40.
to schedule an appointment with the Swedish Skin Institute
Pap Test and Pelvic Exam
Women over 21 should have a cervical cancer screening.
Men over 18 years old should perform a testicular self-exam monthly.
Our goal is to work toward a cancer-free community. To support this goal, we regularly offer convenient public health screenings—either free or at a reduced rate—for various types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colorectal, uterine, skin and lung. Lectures often accompany these screenings to educate community members on methods of prevention.
View upcoming classes and events>>
If a biopsy is deemed necessary, patients at Swedish Covenant Hospital will receive the least invasive, most rapid testing possible. We offer:
• Sentinel node biopsy:
which can quickly determine the stage of cancer by identifying the first node affected.
• Ultrasound-guided biopsy:
which uses a minimally invasive technique to obtain tissue for examination.
• Stereotactic biopsy:
which uses mammography to guide the radiologist to the suspicious site within the breast so tissue extraction can be minimal and precise.
• Bone marrow aspiration:
in which bone marrow is removed and analyzed to diagnose cancer or determine if it has metastasized.
• Transvaginal ultrasound:
a method of imaging the genital tract and pelvic structure by using an ultrasound machine that emits high-frequency sound waves to create a superior image compared to traditional procedures.