13 preventive screenings: why they're important and who needs them most

Nurse taking woman's blood pressure

Screenings save thousands of lives. By detecting treatable illnesses with an inexpensive screening, many people have avoided costly hospital care, surgeries and even terminal disease. That’s because screenings catch chronic diseases before they become a problem, so your care team can treat them effectively. 

These 13 screenings are quick and easy – are you overdue for any of them? 

1. Sexually transmitted infection screening: Chlamydia is the most common STI nationally and in Nebraska.

2. HPV screening: Two HPV types (16 and 18) cause 70% of cervical cancers and pre-cancerous cervical lesions.

3. Hepatitis C screening: Hepatitis C virus infection is associated with more deaths than the top 60 other reportable infectious diseases combined, including HIV.

4. Osteoporosis screening: 1 in 2 postmenopausal women and 1 in 5 older men are at risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture.

5. Immunizations: While not a screening, they're important for preventive care! Vaccines save 42,000 children from dying of preventable diseases in America every year.


Screenings and who should get them
Screening Who needs it? Doctor
Sexually transmitted infection Everyone 19+ Primary care or OB-GYN
HPV Women 21+ Primary care or OB-GYN
Hepatitis C People born between 1/1/1945 and 12/31/1965 Primary care
Osteoporosis Women 65+ Primary care will refer you to an endocrinologist
Immunizations Everyone Primary care


Ready to schedule a screening? Download the new Nebraska Medicine app to make an appointment without picking up the phone.


Screening for blood conditions

Too much of something – pressure, cholesterol or sugar – in your blood causes issues. If left untreated, these things cause serious disease or even death. All three issues – high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes – can be detected and cared for.

6. Blood pressure screening: Over 100 million U.S. residents have high blood pressure (close to half the country). High blood pressure is the number one cause of cardiovascular disease-related deaths.

7. Lipid panel: 1 in 6 people in the United States have high cholesterol – which increases risk of stroke, heart disease and heart attack.

8. Diabetes screening: About 1 in 10 U.S. residents have diabetes.


Screenings and who should get them
Screening Who needs it? Doctor
Blood pressure Everyone 19+ Primary care
Lipid panel Everyone 19+ Primary care
Diabetes Everyone with a body mass index (BMI) > 25 Primary care


If you’re overdue for a screening, call 800.922.0000 and our 24/7 call center will get you scheduled.


Cancer screenings

In 2020, there will be an estimated 1.8 million new cancer cases diagnosed and 606,520 cancer deaths in the United States. 

9. Clinical skin examination: 31,500+ suspected melanomas and 278,000+ suspicious lesions detected in the U.S. since 1985.

10. Pap test: Pap smears prevented 105,000 to 492,000 cases of cervical cancer over the past 30 years in the U.S.

11. Breast cancer screening: Mammograms have reduced breast cancer deaths by nearly 40% in the U.S. since 1990.

12. Colon cancer screening: A colonoscopy reduces the risk of dying from colon cancer by 53%.

13. Low-dose CT scan (lung cancer): Nearly 90% of people with lung cancer die of the disease – but early detection greatly reduces the risk.


Screenings and who should get them
Screening Who needs it? Doctor
Clinical skin examination Everyone 19+ Primary care or dermatologist
Pap test Women 21+ Primary care or OB-GYN
Breast cancer screening Women 40+ Primary care will refer you to a diagnostic radiologist
Colon cancer screening Everyone 45+ Primary care will refer you to a gastroenterologist
Low-dose CT scan Smokers who are 55+ Primary care will refer you to an interventional radiologist


Statistic sources