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Cancer Screening Guide

Cancer screenings enable healthcare providers at MedStar Health to catch cancer in the early stages, when the disease is most treatable. Women and men at high risk for these diseases may need earlier or more frequent screenings, so please check with your doctor.  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.


Screenings are recommended for all women.

  • Breast exam by a medical provider (every three years for women ages 20 to 39 and every year after age 40)
  • Annual mammograms and breast exams by a medical provider starting between the ages of 40 to 45, or younger if at high risk*


Screenings are recommended for all women age 21 and older, or upon becoming sexually active.

  • Periodic Pap smears with frequency based on age (after three normal tests, a woman may need smears less frequently)


Screenings are recommended for all adults age 50 and older, or younger if at high risk*.

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years, or
  • Fecal occult blood test every year, or
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, or
  • Double-contrast barium enema every five years


A screening is recommended 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.
  • If you meet these risk factors learn more about the screenings options


Screenings can be beneficial for men age 50 and older, or younger if at high risk*. The American Cancer Society suggests that men talk to their medical provider about the value of two tests:

  • Digital rectal exams
  • Prostate-specific antigen blood tests


Screenings are recommended for all adults age 20 and older.

  • Skin self-exams once a month
  • Skin exam by a medical provider every three years until age 39, and once a year beginning at age 40


Screenings are recommended for all adults.

  • Annual exam by a dentist or medical provider.


For a physician referral call


Location Information

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive 
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
Oncology Center & Breast Center
12 MedStar Blvd. 
Bel Air, MD 21015

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
201 East University Parkway
Johnston Professional Building
Suite 107
Baltimore, MD 21218

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