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Smilow Screening & Prevention Program

July 04, 2017

The goal of the Smilow Screening & Prevention Program is to provide patients with the tools they need to stay healthy.

What is Cancer Screening?

Cancer screening tests are for patients who do NOT have symptoms. The goal of cancer screening tests is to find cancer early BEFORE there are any symptoms. Sometimes the screening test results in a finding that requires more follow-up testing. It is always important to follow your doctor’s advice if more testing is recommended.

Who needs to get cancer screening tests?

The Smilow Screening & Prevention Program offers many different screening tests. If you have a regular doctor, you should ask her/him what tests are recommended. Your doctor will determine the screening test based on your gender, age, family history of cancer, and race/ethnicity. It is important to follow recommended screening guidelines, which can help detect certain cancers early.

Who should be screened for Lung Cancer?

Adults ages 55 to 77 who have a 30 pack year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. One pack year = smoking one pack per day for one year; 1 pack = 20 cigarettes.Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years.

Who should be screened for Colorectal Cancer?

  • Adults, beginning at age 50 and continuing until age 75. • Younger adults (before age 50) who have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.

Who should be screened for Breast Cancer?

  • All average risk women ages 40 and older should receive annual screening mammograms.
  • Women who are at an increased lifetime risk of breast cancer due to strong family history, known genetic mutations that are associated with breast cancer, and/or received chest radiation for other cancer or conditions between the ages of 10 and 30 may consider screening before age 40. They should talk to their health care providers about when and how to screen for breast cancer.

Who should be screened for Prostate Cancer?

Men at average risk for prostate cancer:

  • Men in their 40s Doctors at Smilow feel that all men regardless of their

    known risk factors should have an opportunity to have a baseline PSA as this may help inform the discussion and decision about future screening.

  • At age 55 Men who are at average risk of prostate cancer should talk to

    their doctors about routine screening for prostate cancer. Doctors at Smilow agree with some professional organizations that biennial (every 2 years) screening may be adequate in this age group, as long as an initial age-adjusted PSA test was normal.

  • Over the age of 69 Doctors at Smilow recommend an individualized approach to screening that takes into consideration the man’s health, co-morbidity and life expectancy. It should be noted that some professional organizations do not support screening men in this age group.

    Who should be screened for Cervical Cancer?

  • All women ages 21 to 29 should have a Pap test every 3 years. HPV (Human Papillomavirus) screening in this age group may be used as a part of follow up for an abnormal Pap test.
  • Beginning at age 30 until age 65, the preferred way to screen is with a Pap test combined with an HPV test every 5 years or every 3 years with a Pap test alone.

Who should be screened for Skin Cancer?

Everyone should perform monthly head-to-toe self-examination of his or her skin.

Who should be screened for Head and Neck Cancers?

  • All adults.
  • High risk patients for squamous cell cancer include those with history

    of using tobacco, heavy alcohol, betel nut, and multiple sexual partners.

    Time to get screened?

    Call the Screening and Prevention Program at (203) 200-3030 or email us at

Submitted by Emily Montemerlo on July 23, 2018