Screening and Diagnosis

Cancer screenings enable healthcare providers at MedStar Health to detect cancer in the early stages, when it is most treatable. The American Cancer Society recommends the following screenings, but people at high risk for cancers may need earlier or more frequent screenings. Below is an overview of some familiar screenings, but be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider what screenings you should have based on your family and personal health history.

Breast cancer

  • Monthly breast self-exams for all women beginning at age 20
  • Breast exam by medical provider every three years for women ages 20 to 39
  • Annual mammogram and breast exam by medical provider for women ages 40 and older

Cervical cancer

  • Screening for all women age 18 and older or upon becoming sexually active
  • Annual Pap smear; after three normal Pap tests, frequency may change depending upon medical recommendation

Colorectal cancer

  • Fecal occult blood test for all adults age 50 and older every year
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Double-contrast barium enema every five years
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years

Prostate cancer

  • Men age 50 and older—discuss testing recommendations with healthcare provider
  • Tests include digital rectal exam and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test

Skin cancer

  • Skin self-exam once a month for all adults age 20 and older
  • Skin exam by healthcare provider every three years until age 39, yearly beginning at age 40

Oral cancer

  • Annual exam by dentist or healthcare provider for all adults


Breast Cancer

FREE mammograms, breast exams and pap tests are available for:
• Women aged 40 and older
• Uninsured or underinsured
• Limited income
• Resident of Baltimore City or Baltimore County
Early detection saves lives, so call 410-350-2001 to see if you qualify.

Colon Cancer

FREE screening colonoscopies are available for persons who:

  • Are age 50 and older
  • Are uninsured or underinsured
  • Have limited income
  • Reside in Baltimore City or Anne Arundel County

Colon cancer is highly treatable when diagnosed early. Call 410-350-8216 to see if you qualify.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer has no symptoms in the early stages. Early detection is possible with a low-cost lung screening CT scan. The scan is painless and takes about five minutes. You may be a candidate if:

  • You are between the ages of 55 and 77
  • You have a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (i.e. a pack of cigarettes per day for at least 30 years, or two packs a day for at least 15 years)
  • You are either still smoking or quit less than 15 years ago

To schedule an appointment at a MedStar location near you, call 1-877-715-4673.

Genetic Counseling

MedStar Health has a genetic counselor available to guide you and your family, as well as answer any questions you may have. Please ask your primary care doctor if this is appropriate for you.  To schedule an appointment with the counselor, call 443.777.7656.

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