Don’t Neglect Your Cancer Screenings

Pictured: Karen Larkin, MSN, RN, RNFA, nurse practitioner in Roswell Park's Supportive Care Clinic (left), talks with a patient about which screenings she needs.

Cancer screening is simply too important to let slide.

Screening tests help detect cancer long before symptoms appear, and the cancers found through routine screening are generally smaller and at an early stage when treatment is most effective. That’s why the screening services at Roswell Park are available to everyone, not just our patients.

How often do you need a colonoscopy? When should you begin having mammograms? It can be difficult to keep track of which tests you need and when, and whether a family member’s cancer diagnosis affects your risk.

How We Can Help

Roswell Park’s Cancer Screening Center offers a comprehensive cancer education, screening and prevention program, and provides screenings for these cancers:

  • Breast (Mammography for women age 40 to 70, frequency depends on risk factors)
  • Cervical (Pelvic exam, Pap test and routine HPV testing for women age 21 to 65)
  • Colorectal (Colonoscopy for men and women age 50 and older)
  • Lung (Low-dose CT scan for men and women age 50 and older with more than 20 pack-years of smoking history and have smoked in last 15 years)
  • Prostate (Digital rectal exam, counseling about PSA early detection, and PSA testing if desired for men age 50 and older)
  • Skin (Full-body skin check for patients with any suspicious lesions)

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Start With a Screening Exam

Because not everyone will need each of these screenings, it’s best to schedule a cancer screening exam. This appointment with our nurse practitioner will focus on your cancer risk and testing needs, according to your health history, family history, age and other risk factors. This screening exam will include:

  • Questionnaire and discussion about your current health, and your personal and family history
  • Clinical examination (“look-and-feel check”) of your mouth and throat, thyroid, breasts, lymph nodes, abdomen and rectum
  • Skin check to look for growths that require removal
  • Review by the nurse practitioner to determine which screenings you should have
  • Referrals and appointments for screening tests

If you need screening tests such as mammography, Pap test, colonoscopy, low-dose CT, PSA test, or complete skin exam, we can arrange for you to undergo those tests right here at Roswell Park. Or, if you wish, we’ll make your appointment at a provider of your choice, say closer to home. In addition, we’ll help you learn to reduce modifiable cancer risks and get you enrolled in a tobacco cessation program.

The cancer screening exam does not replace your regular appointments with your primary care provider, and insurance plans do provide coverage for it. No insurance? No worries. If you don’t have health insurance, the NYS Cancer Services Program will cover appropriate screening tests, and if you require treatment, we’ll help you access Medicaid or Medicare.

The cancer screening exam and screening tests are available to the general public. To make an appointment, call 716-845-4800.