Cancer Screening and Diagnosis

We understand that cancer affects an individual more than just physically. That’s why Altru Cancer Center approaches cancer treatment differently. No matter what type of cancer you have, Altru has the capability and expertise to help guide you along the way. We provide education on your treatment options, and approach your treatment in a holistic way through social, emotional, spiritual and financial support with a variety of programs and services.

Early Detection

The best way to treat cancer is to catch it early. Early detection means a better prognosis and helps prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. We offer a variety of services that can detect and help diagnose cancer in its early stages.


Altru Cancer Center features the innovative GE Discovery STE scanner, a top-of-the-line device that addresses the growing needs of healthcare. While positron emission tomography (PET) provides metabolic imaging, computed tomography (CT) provides anatomically precise images. The Discovery STE produces a single image that combines both. The Discovery STE is beneficial because:

  • It allows for early detection of cancer, which in many cases means better prognosis
  • Instead of two or more exams, patients receive one that usually takes less than an hour
  • Patients can potentially avoid painful, invasive procedures like biopsies
  • It determines the precise location of suspicious activity and differentiates between malignant and benign growths
  • It accounts for organ and tumor movement when making treatment decisions
  • It allows doctors to monitor a patient during treatment, so, if necessary, they can adjust the treatment plan before it is actually completed


The Breast Imaging Program at Altru offers quality mammography services for women of all ages and needs. Mammograms are the most effective screening method currently available for breast cancer detection. Our mammography services include:

  • Breast cancer screening mammography
  • Diagnostic imaging (mammography and ultrasonography)
  • Breast needle localization

Your complete mammogram screening will include:

  • An assessment of your breast cancer risk, including your personal, family and medical history
  • An interpretation of the mammogram by an Altru radiologist
  • Our ImageChecker® computer-aided detection system that helps radiologists minimize false negatives and assist in early detection
  • A written report sent to your primary care provider
  • A letter sent to your home concerning the mammogram's results

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test

Measuring the amount of PSA in the blood allows for early detection of prostate cancer. A PSA test:

  • Involves a quick, simple blood draw from the arm
  • Should be performed on men at high risk starting at age 50, or earlier if they have a family history of prostate cancer
  • Can also be used to measure the effectiveness of prostate cancer treatment

If you have any questions about our cancer treatment options, please call Altru Cancer Center at 701.780.5400.

Preventive Measures

Cancer Risk Assessment

Having a family history of cancer may mean that you are genetically predisposed to cancer. However, this does not mean that you are certain to develop cancer or pass it on to your children. Only about five to ten percent of cancers are linked to inherited genetics. The Cancer Risk Assessment will review your family and personal history of cancer and determine the indication for genetic testing. Programs are available for patients who have any of the following risk factors:

  • A personal or family history of breast cancer prior to age 50
  • A personal or family history of ovarian cancer at any age
  • Multiple primary breast cancers - breast and ovarian cancer, or bilateral breast cancer in the same individual
  • Male breast cancer at any age
  • A family history of confirmed BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutations
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • Certain types of colon cancer

To set up an assessment, please call Altru Cancer Center at 701.780.5400.

Early Detection

For more information about any of our early detection services, please call Altru Cancer Center at 701.780.5400