Cancer Screening Programs

Our cancer screening programs at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center aim to find cancer in its earliest stages, when it is most curable, and identify people who are at high risk for the disease. 

We offer several cancer screenings throughout the year, including breast and ovarian cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, and head and neck cancer, as well as genetic counseling services.

Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Screening

The Lynne Cohen Foundation and Caring Together Project for Women with Increased Risk for Cancer provide breast cancer and ovarian cancer screening and prevention services for all women. 

Breast Cancer Risk and Screening

You are considered to be at an increased risk for breast cancer if you have:

  • a family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative or more than one relative 
  • a family history of ovarian cancer 
  • a family history of any male with breast cancer 
  • a known gene mutation (BRCA) carrier in the family
  • high-risk ancestry, such as Ashkenazi Jewish
  • relative hormonal risk factors, such as using hormone replacement therapy
  • onset of menses before age 12
  • menopause after age 55
  • no full-term pregnancies
  • no history of breastfeeding
  • history of radiation exposure, including treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid cancer, or acne in childhood
  • a family history of cancers of any kind that is greater than that found in the average population
  • a high-risk lesion at breast biopsy such as atypical ductal or lobular hyperplasia, a history of multiple breast biopsies, or dense breasts

During a breast cancer screening, women receive:

  • a thorough physical examination and review of medical history by a medical oncologist
  • routine and advanced screening examinations
  • educational materials about risk reduction, genetic testing, preventive measures, and lifestyle choices
  • information about clinical trials as appropriate
  • consultations with radiologists, surgical oncologists, gynecological oncologists, psychiatrists, pathologists, genetic counselors, social workers, and nurse practitioners as appropriate

For women who are found to be at high risk for breast cancer, we offer risk management information including:

  • diet and lifestyle modifications
  • psychological counseling
  • preventive medical therapies such as Tamoxifen or access to clinical trial protocols as appropriate
  • risk-reducing surgery such as removal of ovaries and prophylactic mastectomies with reconstruction
  • surveillance that may consist of clinical breast exams, mammograms, ultrasounds, and MRIs as warranted
  • surveillance for associated cancer risk, including ovarian, colon, uterine, pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers, thyroid cancer, and melanoma

Breast cancer screening and prevention services are offered to all women. To schedule an appointment please call 212-731-5452. 

Breast cancer screening and prevention services are also provided at Bellevue Hospital with the generous support of the Lynne Cohen Foundation and Caring Together Project for Women with Increased Risk for Cancer. For more information, please call 212-263-3198.

Ovarian Cancer Risk and Screening

Our ovarian cancer screenings are for women considered high risk because they meet the following criteria:

  • have a personal or family history of ovarian cancer
  • have genetic mutations that predispose them to ovarian cancer
  • have used fertility drugs for more than one year

During screening, each woman receives: 

  • a thorough physical examination and review of medical history by a medical oncologist
  • routine and advanced screening examinations
  • educational materials for risk reduction, genetic testing, preventive measures, and lifestyle choices
  • access to clinical trials, from studies that profile cells to those that track the effects of lifestyle modifications and chemoprevention regimens
  • consultations with radiologists, surgical oncologists, gynecological oncologists, psychiatrists, pathologists, genetic counselors, social workers, nutritionists, and nurse practitioners

Ovarian cancer screening and prevention services are offered to all women. To schedule an appointment, please call 212-731-5452.

Ovarian cancer screening and prevention services are also provided at Bellevue Hospital with the generous support of the Lynne Cohen Foundation and Caring Together Project for Women with Increased Risk for Cancer. For more information, please call 212-263-3198.

The Lynne Cohen Foundation and Caring Together Project 

Screening services for women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer at Perlmutter Cancer Center and Bellevue Hospital are made possible thanks to the generous and steadfast support of the Lynne Cohen Foundation.

The Lynne Cohen Screening and Prevention Clinic at Bellevue Hospital was established in 2001 to provide services for women at high risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Bilingual staff members offer access for people who speak Spanish. Screening is available in all languages through the use of telephone interpreting. 

Since the start of the program, 920 women have been screened at Bellevue Hospital for ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Of these, 379 women were determined to be at high risk and 286 have been tested for genetic mutations. Latina women comprised 36 percent, the largest group screened.

The Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center, established in March 2005, has screened 633 women since inception, with 245 determined to be at high risk and 222 tested for genetic mutations to date.

Thanks to the Lynne Cohen Foundation and Caring Together Project, we have been able to accomplish the following:

  • We continue to introduce new screening studies for BRCA mutation-associated breast and ovarian cancers at Bellevue Hospital by expanding protocols currently underway at Perlmutter Cancer Center to Bellevue Hospital. This enables all women to have access to the same opportunities, unify the research across both sites, and diversify the target population for clinical research.
  • We continue to enhance coordination of care, outreach, and educational materials for underserved women with, or at increased risk for, ovarian cancer and BRCA mutation-associated breast cancer.
  • We have increased screening and outreach, conducted risk analysis and assessment for women’s cancer, and provided prevention strategies for those at increased risk.
  • We have implemented a new pilot program to assess cancer risk with oncologists and primary care doctors. Every woman who comes in for a screening mammogram at NYU Langone’s Laura Perlmutter Center for Women’s Imaging uses a tablet device to fill out an assessment of cancer risk, prevention strategies, and how to assess prevention.
  • Our experts appeared on Sirius XM™ Doctor Radio in May 2014 to discuss women’s risk levels for cancer and how to assess them, as well as raise awareness of the Lynne Cohen Foundation and Caring Together Project.
  • Our experts moderated a Medscape symposium on hereditary cancer syndromes and multigene panel testing, which was broadcast on video to physicians around the country.

Lung Cancer Screening

NYU Langone offers lung cancer screening for people at high risk for the disease. This includes: 

  • current and former smokers 
  • people exposed to radon, asbestos, or second-hand smoke 
  • those with lung scarring from pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • people with a first-degree relative who had lung cancer

Learn more about our lung cancer screening program.

Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention

Cancers of the colon and rectum, sometimes called colorectal cancer or just colon cancer, are very common types of cancer. At NYU Langone, we’re working to help prevent colon cancer and to detect it at its earliest stages. 

Learn more about our colon cancer screening and prevention program.

Annual Skin Cancer Screening

The Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center Community Outreach and Education Program, in collaboration with the American Academy of Dermatology, is pleased to offer free skin cancer screenings each May. 

All are welcome, especially those who are at high risk for skin cancer. That includes those who have a mole that has changed in appearance, a previous history of melanoma, or are over age 50, especially men. 

Screening saves lives. During our 2015 event, of the 220 people screened, 46 were found to have a finding of suspicion of basal cell carcinoma, 4 with suspicion of squamous cell carcinoma, 2 with suspicion of actinic keratosis, 2 with suspicion of seborrheic keratosis, 1 with suspicion of congenital nevus, 1 with suspicion for dysplastic nevus, and 1 confirmed melanoma.

Results of the screenings were given to people at the time of the screening exam. People were encouraged to share their results and make a follow-up appointment with their doctor. They took the findings with them upon leaving the screening, and were encouraged to bring the results with them to follow-up appointments.

For more information, please visit our events calendar or email cancerevents@nyumc.org. This skin cancer screening is cosponsored by The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology.

Annual Head and Neck Cancer Screening

The Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center Community Outreach and Education Program is pleased to offer free head, neck, and throat cancer screenings each April.

Studies show that oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is linked to head and neck cancer and its incidence is on the rise. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and chewing paan (a form of chewing tobacco) are well-known risk factors for head and neck cancer. 

A visual inspection of the head, neck, and throat takes place during this screening. Anyone over age 18 is welcome to attend. The event is cosponsored by the Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology

During our 2015 event, of the 131 people screened, 13 were recommended for additional evaluation based on this screening, and 4 people were recommended for an immediate consultation for a suspected neoplasm.

Results of the screenings were given to people at the time of the screening exam. People were encouraged to share their results and make a follow-up appointment with their doctor. They took the findings with them upon leaving the screening, and were encouraged to bring the results with them to follow-up appointments.

Genetic Counseling and Screening

Genetic counseling services at Perlmutter Cancer Center are available to patients with a personal and family history of cancer who are under the care of one of our physicians. Our genetic counselors obtain a comprehensive medical and family history, assess hereditary risk factors, discuss options for genetic testing, and if applicable, facilitate genetic testing. 

Please anticipate approximately 90 minutes for an initial consultation with our genetic counselors. Insurance coverage for genetic testing is discussed prior to testing. 

Genetic counselors are conveniently located at 221 Lexington Avenue at the Laura Perlmutter Center for Women’s Imaging and at 240 East 38th Street at the NYU Langone Ambulatory Care Center

Additional genetic counseling and clinical genetics services are also available at 145 East 32nd Street through NYU Langone’s Clinical Genetics Services. If you are interested in a genetic evaluation, please discuss this with your doctor.