Cancer Screening & Diagnosis
Get the information you need to make choices about your health. Learn about cancer screening and diagnostic testing at UNC Health Southeastern.
What’s a Screening Test?
Screenings look for signs of cancer before you have symptoms. Finding cancer early may mean you’ll need less treatment, and your care will be more effective.
What Tests Do I Need?
The screening tests that are right for you depend on your age, gender, lifestyle, and other factors. Talk to your primary care provider to learn more.
Types of Cancer Screenings
- Colonoscopy – Looks for polyps (lumps), cancer, or other diseases in the colon (large intestine) and rectum
- Low dose CT lung screening – Uses imaging technology to scan the lungs to check for cancer
- Mammogram – Examines the breasts with X-rays. Call 910-671-4000 to schedule a mammogram at Southeastern Radiology Associates.
- Pap test – Takes a small sample of cells from the cervix to look for cancer, pre-cancer, or HPV (a virus that increases cancer risk)
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test – Checks a blood sample for high levels of a protein called PSA, which could be a sign of prostate cancer
Expect timely and accurate results thanks to UNC Health Southeastern’s laboratory and dedicated imaging center.
Ask us how you’ll receive your results. Your doctor can help answer any questions you have and recommend follow-up care, if needed.
What’s a Diagnostic Test?
A diagnostic test can confirm if you do or do not have cancer. Your doctor may recommend diagnostic testing if you have:
- Cancer symptoms
- Screening test results that are unclear or show a potential problem
To diagnose cancer, doctors use:
- Biopsy – Removes a small sample of tissue for testing in a lab
- Imaging test – Creates pictures of the inside of the body using technology such as X-rays, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Diagnostic Imaging Tools
Most imaging tests take place at Southeastern Radiology Associates (SeRA), where you’ll benefit from:
- Skilled technicians performing exams
- Board-certified radiologists reviewing results
- Accuracy of advanced technology
Whenever possible, we’ll perform the least invasive test possible so you can get back to your daily activities.
Onsite PET Scanner
At Gibson Cancer Center, you can access one of the most advanced imaging scans available—positron emission tomography (PET). This technology creates high-quality, detailed images to show if cancer has decreased or spread. Our scanner is conveniently available five days a week. Your doctor may order a PET scan to diagnose cancer and/or see how it’s responding to treatment.