Patients Still Need to Undergo Screenings for Other Cancers

Pictured: Karen Larkin, MSN, RN, RNFA, nurse practitioner in Roswell Park's Supportive Care Clinic (left), talks with Charito Silvis about cancer screening.

While you’re in treatment for your cancer, you may feel as though you focus all your time and energy on this one health issue. That’s understandable, but cancer patients need to stay on top of regular screenings for early detection of other cancer types, too.

With all the tests, scans and blood work you’ve had, it’s easy to think that if you had any other concern, it would have been found by now. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. Women who have had breast cancer still need to have Pap tests and colonoscopies. In addition, the same factors that may have contributed to your cancer may also increase your risk for other cancers. For example, smoking is a risk factor for many cancer types — not just of the lungs and esophagus, but for colorectal cancer as well.

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 ages 21 to 65.)
  • Colorectal (Colonoscopy for men and women age 50 and older.)
  • Lung   (Low-dose CT scan for men and women ages 55 to 79 with more than 30 pack-years of smoking history and who 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.)

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.

Cancer screening is simply too important to let slide, and the screening services at Roswell Park are open to everyone, not just patients. It’s like taking your car in for a tune-up. You want to keep a close check on your body before a major problem develops. We aim to make it as easy as possible for you to get the information and screening tests you need.

The cancer screening exam does not replace your regular appointments with your primary care provider. Insurance plans will cover this cancer screening exam in addition to your regular primary care visits. 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 open to the general public. To make an appointment, call 716-845-4800.