Adult Screenings

Preventative screenings are a useful tool in staying healthy. Screenings that use imaging technology can look inside the body and give your doctor valuable information they can use to identify or treat illness, injury or disease.

Preventative screenings are useful to ensure your health and wellbeing. As people age, their risk for certain health conditions or diseases increases. Heredity and lifestyle choices also impact risks for heart disease and some cancers. Routine screenings can catch health changes early when they are more treatable.

Wake Radiology UNC REX offers a variety of preventative screenings from 3D mammography and bone density studies (DXA) to heart scans that identify calcium build-up and CT lung cancer screenings. Talk with your doctor about how routine screenings can impact and improve your health.

Preventative Screenings Available

3D Screening Mammogram

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. A 3D mammogram can detect cancer early when it is most treatable.

  • Screening mammograms do not require a physician’s order and are covered by all major insurance carriers.
  • You only need to have visited your doctor within the past 18 months.
  • We offer 3D mammography with artificial intelligence at all Wake Radiology UNC REX locations throughout the Triangle.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Ultrasound Screenings (AAA)

Men especially those over 65 are four times more likely than women to develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). These aneurysms usually occur in the aorta just below the kidneys. Early on, patients may not have pain or discomfort. As they enlarge, however, patients can experience intermittent back or abdominal pain and if a larger aneurysms ruptures it can lead to death within a few minutes.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screenings use ultrasound to easily detect these aneurysms. Referring providers and their patients use the results to determine how best to monitor (e.g., with subsequent ultrasound studies) or manage it (e.g., catheter procedure, surgery or medication). The risk criteria include:

  • Men over age 65
  • History of smoking
  • Family history of AAA
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

AAA and insurance

Since 2005, Medicare has paid for a one-time preventive ultrasound screening for early detection of AAAs for at-risk patients. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 covers this exam one time for men of specified ages who have ever smoked. Listed under For Medicare Part B, patients must get a referral from their doctor for it as a result of their “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit. People with Medicare who are eligible for an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening must meet one of these criteria:

  • They have a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • They are a man age 65 to 75 and have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime

This “Welcome to Medicare” study is covered and Wake Radiology requires a signed physician order. When this exam is performed for diagnostic purposes, insurance coverage must be confirmed. Wake Radiology recommends that patients check with their insurance carrier before scheduling their AAA screening to confirm coverage and payment.

Bone Density Scans (DXA)

25 million Americans have osteoporosis and nearly 80% are women. Said another way, one in four women has osteoporosis, making them 10 times more likely to suffer from this disease than men.

A bone density test (DXA) is a non-invasive, accurate and inexpensive way to assess a patient’s risk of falling and breaking bones. The exam less than 30 minutes and requires a signed physician referral.

Our practice is the only outpatient imaging group in the Triangle to be certified by the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) for bone density exams. Learn more about DXA scans.

Colon Cancer Screenings: Barium Enemas

Colon cancer screening guidelines were recently lowered to 45 years old as this disease is effective younger, healthier individuals.

Wake Radiology UNC REX performs barium enema exams for patients who cannot tolerate the sedation required for colonoscopy. The procedure uses barium to provide contrast inside the colon. X-rays can reveal polyps or other abnormalities. Most patients easily undergo this exam and there is often no recovery required.

Talk with your doctor about this exam if you need an alternative to a colonoscopy.


Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed malignancy in developed countries and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women. Symptoms of colon cancer include:

  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Intestinal blockage or change in bowel habits (usually unnoticed until the disease has progressed)

Early-stage colon cancer is curable, which makes screening and early diagnosis important. Pre-cancerous growths found during screening can be removed before they develop into cancer. The American Cancer Society risk factors include:

  • Age (>90% of those diagnosed with colon cancer are over age 50)
  • Colorectal polyps
  • Family history of colon cancer
  • Diets high in fat and low in fiber, or high in processed meats
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Genetics
  • Personal history of colon cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease
  • Smoking
  • Obesity and/or physical inactivity

Barium enema colon cancer screenings & insurance

Medicare and major insurance companies cover this screening. Wake Radiology recommends that patients check with their insurance carrier before scheduling their this study to confirm coverage and payment.

CT Coronary Calcium Scoring

A painless, non-invasive CT coronary calcium scoring exam is the best tool to assess your risk for a heart attack and heart disease. Half of all people who have a cardiac event  don’t have prior symptoms and more than 80% of all high risk patients will have a “normal” stress test on a treadmill.

A low-dose CT coronary calcium scoring exam identifies plaque buildup in the coronary vessels. A patient’s coronary calcium score helps doctors assess risk, tailor treatment and provide better care.  Learn more about a CT coronary calcium scoring exams.

CT Lung Cancer Screenings

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of death from cancer in this country. A low-dose CT lung cancer screening can depict tumors significantly smaller than 1.0 centimeter in size. This means we can detect lung cancer in its very early stages before disease progression. Learn more about CT lung cancer screenings.

PET-CT Amyvid Studies and Alzheimer’s Disease

Wake Radiology UNC REX physicians were among the first in the Triangle to interpret cutting edge Amyvid (florbetapir) PET-CT studies that can help rule out Alzheimer’s Disease. Amyvid is the first FDA-approved agent for PET-CT brain imaging of amyloid plaques in patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s and other causes. Talk with your doctor about a Amyvid study at Wake Radiology UNC REX.


Location. Location. Location.

With locations throughout the Triangle, we are conveniently located where you work, live, and play.


Did you know that a general X-ray does not require a scheduled appointment? We offer walk-in X-ray in 11 locations throughout the Triangle. Patients only need an order form a referring provider.


It could never be easier to schedule your annual mammogram. With over 12 locations, you can easily get your screening mammogram where you work or live. Plus, you can request your appointment online and we’ll contact you to confirm your appointment!


We help to make your appointment as convenient and low stress as possible. That’s why we offer MRI appointments early in the morning, late in the evening, and even weekends.

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