At AWH, our mission is to provide quality comprehensive healthcare for all of our patients. This includes regular screening tests to look for cancer before a person has any signs or symptoms.  Regular screenings can catch some cancers early, when they’re small, have not spread, and are easier to treat. Early detection is the best defense against cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider who can determine which health screenings are appropriate for you based on your health history and age.

A few of the screenings we offer include:

  • Mammograms
  • Bone density testing
  • Genetic testing


What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that allows specialists to look for changes in breast tissue and help detect breast cancer.

Who should have a mammogram?

It is recommended that women over 40 have a mammogram every year and a clinical breast exam done annually. Women who have a family history of breast cancer may need exams earlier than at 40 years old which can be determined by your healthcare provider.

What types of mammograms are there?

  • Screening mammograms are used to look for breast changes in women who do not appear to have breast problems.
  • Diagnostic mammograms are used to get more information about breast changes in women who have breast symptoms or an abnormal screening mammograms

What is 3D mammography?

  • 3D mammography is a new mammogram technology which creates a three-dimensional view of the breast tissue instead of a two-dimensional view.
  • 3D mammography produces clear, precise images that allow doctors to pinpoint the location of abnormalities with greater accuracy.
  • The 3D mammogram may also find cancers that hide in dense breast tissue, resulting in fewer false negative studies.

Why should I have my mammogram done at Woman’s hospital?

At Woman’s, all breast imaging studies are read by a board-certified radiologist and a Computer-Aided Detection System to ensure the highest accuracy possible. Woman’s is the only hospital in the Baton Rouge region that has two radiologists reading each breast imaging study.

Bone Density Testing

What is a Bone Density Test?

A bone density test is a test that allows for early detection of osteoporosis (weak and fragile bones) before a broken bone occurs. This test helps to estimate the density of your bones and your chance of breaking a bone. A bone density test is an x-ray of the hip and spine by a DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) machine to diagnose osteoporosis.

What can a Bone Density Test do?

A bone density test tells you if you have normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis. It can also help us as your healthcare provider:

  • learn if you have weak bones or osteoporosis before you break a bone
  • predict your chance of breaking a bone in the future
  • see if your bone density is improving, getting worse or staying the same
  • let you know if you have osteoporosis after you break a bone

Who should have a Bone Density Test?

We recommend that you have a bone density test if:

  • you are a woman age 65 or older
  • you break a bone under age 65
  • you are a woman under age 65 with risk factors
  • you lost height in the past year
  • you take medications or have a medical problem that can cause bone loss

Genetic Testing

Cancers are due to changes in a person’s genetic makeup and it can be passed from one generation to the next. These syndromes are known as hereditary cancers and there are genetic tests that can be used to determine an individual’s risk for developing these cancers.

What is a genetic test?

  • Genetic testing is done via a saliva sample or a blood draw
  • Insurance generally covers 90 percent of testing costs
  • Optional payment plans are available if needed

Who should have genetic testing?

If one of your family members has/had cancer, there is a chance that you inherited a gene mutation that not only increases your personal risk of cancer, but also could be passed to the next generation.

Those who are carriers of hereditary cancer gene mutations could be at risk of getting cancer earlier in life than the general population. The sooner genetic testing is done, the more likely it is that the risk can be managed appropriately.

What happens if my genetic testing comes back showing that I am at risk?

If you have a mutation that puts you at increased risk of cancer, you and your healthcare provider can take action to reduce your risk of developing the disease. There are effective options to help lower your risk of cancer such as earlier and more intensive screening, preventive medications and risk-reducing surgeries. Once the potential risk of cancer is identified, you and your healthcare professional can choose the best way to possibly delay, or even possibly prevent, the development of certain cancers.

What genetic tests are offered?

AWH works with the leading diagnostic company for genetic testing services, Myriad Genetics.  There are three genetic screening tests that we use through Myriad which include myRisk, BRAC Analysis and Colaris.


Myriad myRisk Hereditary Cancer test identifies your elevated risk for eight cancers:

  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Gastric
  • Colorectal
  • Pancreatic
  • Melanoma
  • Prostate
  • Endometrial

To learn more about myRisk genetic testing click here.


BRACAnalysis is a genetic test that detects the presence of BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. BRCA mutations are responsible for the majority of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, and women with these mutations who have been previously diagnosed with cancer have a significantly increased risk of developing a second primary cancer.

The benefits of the BRACAnalysis test are significant in the prevention and early diagnosis of cancer caused by BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Once your results are received, a comprehensive medical management plan from the professionals from Myriad, along with your healthcare provider will help structure a personalized plan to reduce your risk of cancer. This may include increased screening and counseling for you and your family members about underlying causes of breast and/or ovarian cancer.

To learn more about BRAC Analysis genetic testing click here.


COLARIS is a genetic test that assesses a person’s risk of developing hereditary colorectal cancer and a woman’s risk of developing hereditary uterine (endometrial) cancer.

Lynch syndrome, also known as Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) syndrome, is the most common of the hereditary colon cancer syndromes and is believed to account for three to five percent of all colorectal cancers. COLARIS is a genetic test for Lynch syndrome. Knowing the results of the COLARIS test may help you and your healthcare professionals take steps to prevent cancer before it has a chance to develop.

To learn more about Colaris genetic testing click here.