UT Medical Center

Cancer Institute

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Screening Services


The Cancer Institute offers a number of cancer prevention and screening services. The descriptions below are for each program’s components, availability and contact information.

Prevention Services

Cancer prevention trials are available to the men and women of East Tennessee for the two major gender specific cancers: prostate and breast.

Screening Services

Breast Cancer Screening—Health professionals at the University Breast Center offer both on-site and mobile mammography screening services. The mobile unit is available to travel to any East Tennessee site, industry, etc., in order to provide women access to screening services without traveling long distances. To schedule an appointment or a mobile mammography screening date, call 865.305.9069. Sites interested in obtaining breast health education along with mobile mammography services should call the Breast Health Outreach Program at 865.305.9753.

Prostate Cancer Screening—Early detection is your best defense against prostate cancer. An appointment for prostate screening can be made anytime during the year with the team of urologists. Prostate screening consists of a digital rectal exam and a prostatic specific antigen (PSA) blood level for men between the ages of 50 -70. Men younger than 50 with risk factors, including family history, should discuss screening with their physician. Men over the age of 70 who are otherwise in good health should also consider discussing the benefits of screening with their physician. During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month held each September, a number of free screenings are available to the public.

To schedule a screening appointment, call University Urology at 865.305.9254 or Dr. Paul Hatcher at 865.305.6970.

Colon Cancer Screening—For patients 50 years or older (this age may vary if you have a family history of colon cancer), the following screening is recommended.

  • Fecal Blood Test every year. This can be done during your yearly checkup with your primary care physician’s office.
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy or Double Contract Barium Enema (DCBE) every five years.
  • A combination of these two tests provides a more comprehensive diagnostic evaluation then DCBE alone. All positive tests should be followed up with a colonoscopy.
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years. This procedure can be scheduled through the Cancer Institute’s team of gastroenterologists by calling 865.305.6570.

Click here for the Colorectal Cancer Screening and Family History forms. Please print out and share with your doctor to see when you should have your colorectal screening.

Skin Cancer Screening—The best screening for skin cancers is performed by you (a guide to a skin self-exam is provided below). On a regular basis, you should check yourself for new growths or other changes in your skin. Any new, colored growth or changes in growths already present should be reported to a doctor without delay. Your primary physician also should be checking for unusual growths during your regular annual exam.

Patients who already have had one skin cancer should have regular exams scheduled by their physician. An appointment with the UT Medical Center’s team of dermatologists can be scheduled by calling 865.546.7521. In addition, the Cancer Institute will perform free skin cancer skin screenings throughout the year.

Guide to Skin Self-Exam

How to Do a Self-Exam for Signs of Skin Cancer

You can improve your chances of finding skin cancer by performing a simple skin self-exam regularly.

The best time to do this self-exam is after a shower or bath. You should check your skin in a well-lit room using a full-length mirror and a hand-held mirror. It is best to begin by learning where your birthmarks, moles and blemishes are and what they usually look like. Check for anything new—a change in the size, texture or color of a mole; or a sore that does not heal.

You should be certain to check all areas thoroughly, including the back, scalp, between the buttocks and genital area.

  • Look at the front and back of your body in the mirror, then raise your arms and look at the left and right sides.
  • Bend your elbows and look carefully at your palms; forearms, including the undersides; and the upper arms.
  • Examine the back and front of your legs. Also look between your buttocks and around your genital area.
  • Sit and closely examine your feet, including the soles and the spaces between the toes.
  • Look at your face, neck and scalp. You may want to use a comb or a blow dryer to move hair so that you have a better view.

By checking your skin regularly, you will become familiar with what is “normal.” If you find anything unusual, see your doctor right away. Remember, the earlier skin cancer is found, the better the chance for a cure.