Screening & Diagnosis

A mammogram, colonoscopy or other screening increases the chances our Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute team can detect certain cancers early, often before you have symptoms. This gives you the best chance of treating the disease before it spreads.

Your provider may suggest:

  • Screening tests such as a mammogram that looks for breast cancer or a colonoscopy to find colon cancer
  • Diagnostic tests, medical exams and self-exams

What Screening Do You Need?

Your provider helps you decide the most appropriate screening(s) based on:

  • Your age, health and gender
  • Risk factors like family history, notably a close relative with cancer, and habits such as smoking

If you’re considering a screening test, talk with your provider about the disease, what the test is like, the risks and benefits and the potential cost. You may also want to ask what further testing and follow-up will be needed if a screening test reveals a possible problem.

Ask your provider about the limits of the test and treatment.

For example, ask:

  • How likely is it that the test could miss a disease (false negative), show something that looks like a disease but isn’t (false positive) or find a disease that will never cause a problem?
  • Will I need someone to accompany me?
  • Will I need transportation?

Available Screenings:

Routine screenings are often the best way to spot cancer early enough so it can be successfully treated. The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute team is here to partner with you as you focus on your patients’ health, offering advanced screening for all forms of cancer in locations across the state. While screenings are typically for people with no symptoms, we can accommodate appointments quickly if needed.

Breast cancer

  • Who? All women age 40 and older should get annual screening mammograms. Women with increased risk - due to family history, associated genetic mutations and or history of chest radiation between ages 10 and 30 – may be begin screening before age 40.
  • How? We offer the latest technology in 2D and 3D mammography, breast ultrasound and breast MRI.
  • Contact: 855.90.MAMMO (855.906.2666)
  • Learn more about mammography and mobile mammography

Cervical cancer

  • Who? Women age 21 to 29 should have a screening Pap test every three years. If results are abnormal, the follow-up will include screening for human papillomavirus (HPV). From age 30 to 65, women should receive a combined Pap/HPV test every five years or Pap every three years.
  • How? Primary care and gynecologic providers can conduct routine testing. Our team lends its expertise with diagnostic tools and treatments from chemotherapy, radiation and hormone and immunotherapy to surgery if a problem is detected.
  • Contact: 855.255.6181

Colorectal cancer

  • Who? Start colonoscopy screenings at age 45 in the absence of risk factors or lack of symptoms. High risk individuals may need testing before age 45 or more often which includes family history of colorectal cancer or colon polyps and high-risk genetic syndromes.
  • How? We offer screening colonoscopies across the state for qualified patients. A colonoscopy can detect and remove a polyp or precancerous growth before it ever turns into cancer. Alternative screening methods are also available, as any screening is better than no screening at all! Colon cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.

Head and neck cancers

  • Who? All adults, especially those considered high-risk for squamous cell cancer due to tobacco use, heavy alcohol intake and multiple sex partners.
  • How? Our Head & Neck Cancer Program team employs the latest medical technologies and procedures to address all types and stages of malignant and benign tumors.
  • Contact: 855.255.6181

Lung cancer

  • Who? Adults age 55 to 77 with a 30-pack year smoking history who still smoke or quit within the last 15 years. Note: one pack year is smoking 20 cigarettes a day for a year. Screening is not needed once the person has not smoked for 15 years.
  • How? We offer the latest low-dose computed tomography.
  • Contact: 855.255.6181
  • Learn more

Prostate cancer

  • Who? Men age 50 to 69 at average risk of developing prostate cancer, or those age 45 and older with a higher risk based on family history.
  • How? We partner with the team at Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute Men’s Health to provide screenings for prostate cancer. Tallwood Men’s Health centers are located in Fairfield, Farmington and Waterford.
  • Contact: 861.678.5700

Skin cancer

  • Who? All adult, especially those with pale skin, excessive or unprotected sun exposure, family history or unusual moles.
  • How? Dermatologists can provide the exams. The advanced specialists at our Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center offer rapid access for suspicious lesions, including melanoma, complex pigmented lesions, cutaneous lymphoma and high-risk non-melanoma. Services are available in Fairfield County, the Hartford area, central and eastern Connecticut.
  • Contact: 860.972.6080
  • Learn more
A member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, we provide innovative care close to home.

We offer the latest treatments through our ongoing membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Alliance, which gives you access to the latest standards of care and clinical trials.

The MSK Alliance

Support at the Cancer Institute

The Cancer Institute offers whatever you and your family need on your journey, whether it’s access to an oncology social worker, a nurse navigator to coordinate your care or the support of our Patient and Family Resource Center.

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute