Thank you for visiting Richmond University Medical Center.  View our VISITOR POLICY


Women’s Recommended Cancer Screening

Home » Services » Oncology (cancer) » Cancer Screening » Women’s Recommended Cancer Screening

Women’s Recommended Cancer Screenings in Staten Island, NY

Cancer screenings are an often overlooked part of an individual’s overall health plan, and though physicians highly recommend them, some are hesitant to move forward with testing. Richmond University Medical Center is here to urge all patients to stop putting off routine cancer screenings, as early detection is the best chance for remission.

Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) is known for its expert oncology services, first earning accreditation over 80 years ago from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, making its cancer care program the longest consecutively accredited program of its kind on Staten Island. Offering a range of cancer screenings, RUMC’s Center for Cancer Care is here to educate women about age-related risk factors and other considerations. Schedule a cancer screening today, as these simple tests can make all the difference in making an early diagnosis.

Physician explaining cancer screening to patient wearing radiological protection

What Are Cancer Screenings?

Cancer screenings are routine diagnostic tests, which can help physicians spot abnormalities that could be cancer. When abnormal cells begin to divide out of control, tumors develop, which could be malignant or benign.

 Some cancers show symptoms in their early stages, while others are not diagnosed until later stages due to a lack of signs and symptoms. This is where cancer screenings come in – they are intended to determine whether cancer is present before patients show any symptoms. When caught early, cancer treatments can be more effective and have better long-term outcomes.

At Richmond University Medical Center, a patient’s cancer screening may include tests such as:

  • A hands-on physical evaluation
  • Genetic testing with saliva, blood, or cheek cells
  • Imaging tests like ultrasounds, X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), bone scans, mammograms, and computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Pap test (also known as pap smear)

Types of Women’s Cancer Screenings

Some forms of cancer are more common in women, specifically those with a female reproductive system. RUMC’s Breast and Imaging Center screens for, diagnoses, and treats all of the common cancers affecting women, including:

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in American women. Risk heightens with age, though it can affect women of all ages, especially if there is a family history of the disease. Aside from regular self-examinations and routine mammograms (breast X-rays), genetic testing for the BRCA genes is also highly recommended. Screening frequency depends on age and risk factors, but general guidelines include:

  • Ages 21-39: Higher-risk patients should discuss a screening regimen with their physician, and women should always be on the lookout for changes in their breasts, including lumps.
  • Ages 40-49: Women usually begin annual screenings at age 45, though those at higher risk may be encouraged to start earlier.
  • Ages 50-64: By age 55, mammograms can be performed every two years if patients have consistently displayed good results. Otherwise, annual screenings can continue.
  • Ages 65+: Women should continue biannual screenings if they are in good health and have a life expectancy of at least 10 more years.

Cervical Cancer Screening

To detect cancerous cell changes on the cervix, women should undergo a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years, as well as a routine pap smear test every three years. It is recommended that patients with a cervix maintain this screening schedule from age 21 to 65. However, patients with a personal history of cervical pre-cancer should be screened yearly for at least 25 years after the diagnosis.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

A colonoscopy is the gold standard for colorectal cancer. During the procedure, a thin, flexible, lighted tube is inserted into the patient’s rectum and colon, enabling physicians to examine for irregularities. If polyps or even some cancers are present, the physician can typically remove them during the colonoscopy.

Those ages 45 to 75 should receive a colonoscopy routinely as determined by their physician, though the procedure is recommended for women every 10 years beginning at age 50. After age 75, colonoscopies are not needed if patients have good results for 10 consecutive years.

Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is most commonly caused by smoking tobacco, but other factors can put non-smokers at risk, as well. These include exposure to harmful air particles, radon, chemicals, and other contaminants.

The screening test for lung cancer is called low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), a type of scan that utilizes a small amount of radiation to produce detailed lung images. Because lung cancer is more common in older individuals, women should begin yearly screenings at age 50, though they should start screening earlier if:

  • They currently smoke.
  • They quit smoking in the last 15 years.
  • They have a 20-pack-year smoking history (One pack of cigarettes per day equates to one pack-year).
  • They show no signs of lung cancer, as symptoms appear in later stages of the disease.

Ovarian Cancer Screening

Ovarian cancer can develop at any age, so women should ensure they keep up with their annual OB/GYN visits and blood work. Since individual risk varies, a physician should determine how often a patent should be screened for ovarian cancer. However, the disease is most common between ages 50 and 75, and other risk factors should also be considered. These include having a firstborn after age 35, never having children, or using estrogen as the only hormone replacement therapy.  

Skin Cancer Screening

All races and skin types can develop skin cancer, so routine skin cancer screenings are essential for people of all ages. If there are no suspicious spots or moles, or no personal history of skin cancer, screenings may not be necessary annually but should still happen every few years. Those with fair skin are at higher risk of skin cancer, so people with lighter complexions may want to get screened more often.

Prioritize Early Cancer Detection with Richmond University Medical Center

Serving the New York and New Jersey Metropolitan Area, Richmond University Medical Center believes that cancer screenings are the key to the best possible outcome. The earlier cancer is found, the higher the success rates tend to be. For more information about cancer screenings recommended for women, contact Richmond University Medical Center today.