Compassionate cancer care in your community

In Broome County, the Lourdes Regional Cancer Center delivers personalized, compassionate oncology care by experienced doctors and care teams.

Lourdes Regional Cancer Center

Cancer can be life-changing on any level – no matter how major or minor.  When you come to Lourdes, you’ll work with an entire team that starts by having a real conversation with you to lead us to a better understanding of your individual situation, so we can create a plan that’s best for you.

With some of the newest technology and innovative treatments to fight cancer and a team of the area's top physicians, oncologists, nurses and specialists, we provide the best in cancer care. Lourdes has raised the standard of cancer care in the community by becoming a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center. MD Anderson, based in Houston, is a global leader in cancer care. The affiliation with the network means we have access to the pioneering evidence-based guidelines, treatment plans and best practices developed by the experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  More information about MD Anderson is available at

Lourdes has built a network of Pastoral care, nutrition services, and rehabilitation services are also  for both outpatients and inpatients. Lourdes Regional Cancer Center also maintains a link with the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) database. This database provides the latest information on research advances and new treatments, as well as emerging topics on the influence of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle factors in the development of cancer.

The result is a Center of Excellence that remains unmatched for a community of our size. And a history we are proud of.

Learn more about our Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology and Breast Care Center.

Cancer Screening Guidelines

A healthy lifestyle is important in helping to prevent cancer.  Another important step you can take to protect your health is to be aware of cancer screening guidelines.  Talk with your primary care provider, get regular check-ups, and get tested to detect any abnormalities or changed conditions before symptoms develop.  Early detection is your best weapon in the fight against cancer.

The following cancer screening guidelines are recommended by the American Cancer Society for those people at average risk for cancer or without any specific symptoms.

People who are at increased risk for certain cancers due to family history or other conditions, may need to follow a different screening schedule.  Talk with your primary care provider to determine if you fall into a higher risk category and to determine the appropriate cancer screening schedule for you.

Breast Cancer

Yearly mammograms to detect cancer and precancerous changes are recommended for women starting at age 40. In addition, clinical breast exams should be conducted every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and annually for women 40 and over. Also recommended for women starting in their 20s is breast self-exams done monthly in order to identify color changes, skin irregularities, lumps and changes in the nipples.

Colon and Rectal Cancer

A baseline colonoscopy should be done in both men and women to detect cancer and precancerous growths (polyps) on the inside wall of the colon at age 50.  After that, it should be done every 10 years.

Cervical Cancer

All women should have a pap smear done to detect abnormal cells that may become cancerous annually beginning in their 20s.  After age 30, women may get screened every one to three years.  Follow the guidance of your provider.

In addition, pelvic exams to detect cancer and precancerous changes of the cervix, uterus and ovaries should be done annually in women beginning at age 20.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. In 2015, it was estimated that 221,200 new cases of lung cancer (115,610 in men and 105,590 in women) will be diagnosed and 158,040 deaths from lung cancer (86,380 in men and 71,660 among women) will occur. However, there are more options for successful treatment when lung cancer is diagnosed in the early stages before the disease has escaped the lung.

Low Dose CT Screening for lung cancer was developed in response to evidence-based recommendations which found that screening with annual low-dose CT scans reduced the risk of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent compared to patients who were screened with chest X-rays. Lourdes has implemented the guidelines and criteria developed by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) in response to this research.

Why get screened?

The goal of screening is to detect lung cancer at a time when it is not causing symptoms and when treatment can be most successful. Screening should increase survival and quality of life. An important, recent study referred to as the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) has demonstrated that screening under the appropriate conditions and in the right individuals can reduce death from lung cancer by 20%.

Who can benefit from a lung cancer screening?

It is clear that only people considered at high risk will benefit. Risk is defined by age (usually age 55 and older) and pack years of smoking. Pack years is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years the person has smoked. Additional factors such as family or personal history of cancer or lung disease and occupational exposure can play a role and should be discussed with your doctor or a member of our lung team. We will only screen those individuals that are considered high risk.

CT Screenings vs. Chest X-Rays

When comparing low dose CT scans to standard chest X-rays when screening for lung cancer, researchers found significant advantages for the patient:

  1. Non-calcified nodules were three times more likely to show up.
  2. Cancerous tumors were four times more likely to be detected.
  3. Stage I cancers were six times more likely to be detected.

How does the screening work?

CT Lung Screenings use an X-ray generating device that rotates around your body and a very powerful computer to create cross-sectional images of the inside of your lungs. From these images, physicians can see small tumors, which may be more treatable by surgery or other procedures. The scan helps find cancerous nodules early, often before there is spread beyond the lung. It is important to understand that not all findings on the CT Lung Screening are cancerous and may not require treatment. Incidental findings will be managed or observed based on the discretion of the pulmonologist or primary care provider as appropriate.

We’re With You Every Step of the Way

Every person who is screened will meet with our Nurse Navigator who will make sure that all of your questions are answered and will also facilitate any follow up studies that are required. The Nurse Navigator will communicate with your referring physician and our lung team to ensure your comprehensive care. He or she will essentially guide you through the entire process.

Prostate Cancer

Beginning at age 50, men should have both the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE) annually to detect prostate cancer in the earliest stages. In addition, testicular self exam to detect testicular cancer should be done monthly beginning at age 20. For more information about these and other cancer screening tests, talk with your primary care provider.

Exceptional, Convenient Care at Lourdes

Lourdes puts you first, with friendly staff, leading-edge technology and a comfortable, welcoming environment. Our team is dedicated to making sure you're fully educated about your breast health and all the options available to you.

Our multidisciplinary approach to treatment and care is what separates us from others. From radiologist to oncologist to surgeon, each member of your expert team spends time with you to answer questions and give you a full understanding of your situation. Our doctors and specialists work closely together and with you to develop a comprehensive individual care plan that meets your needs.

The care you receive is provided by a team of professionals who have dedicated their careers to breast health. Our breast imaging professionals have decades of experience and all of our staff nurses are credentialed breast care specialists. In addition, our center routinely surpasses the national quality benchmarks for cancer care set by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

Breast Health and Care at Lourdes

Lourdes is pleased to offer digital breast imaging services at locations that are convenient to you at the following locations:

  • Lourdes Breast Care Center on the Lourdes Hospital campus
  • Lourdes Vestal, 3101 Shippers Road
  • Throughout the community with our Mobile Mammography Vans

We believe in keeping you informed whether you choose to receive same day results or prefer the convenience of receiving your results in the privacy of your home. Individualized care we offer at our Breast Cancer Center:

  • Long term care relationships – sharing in your life story
  • Risk reduction for women with an above average chance of developing breast cancer
  • Spiritually centered, holistic care that sustains and enhances health

National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) Accreditation

We are nationally recognized by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) for providing exceptional breast care. This means you'll receive the highest quality breast care, and our patient outcomes prove it. In receiving this accreditation, the NAPBC finds that we demonstrate multidisciplinary, integrated, and comprehensive delivery of quality breast care.

Innovative Care at Lourdes

At Lourdes, we pride ourselves in offering innovative technology and procedures at our cancer center. This includes:

  • Minimally-invasive breast biopsy treatment
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy under research protocol
  • Partial breast radiation under research protocol
  • Breast and nipple sparing procedures

Lourdes also now offers 3D digital mammography at the Lourdes Breast Care Center.

Colorectal Cancer:  Get the facts. Reduce your risk. Know your options.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness month is dedicated to increasing attention to colorectal cancer issues.  This awareness helps to bring much-needed support and attention to a disease that is the second leading cancer killer in the United States.

What are the risk factors for Colorectal Cancer?

It is not known what causes colorectal cancer, but there are certain known risk factors, which increase a person's chance of getting this disease.

Some of these risk factors are:

  • Age. Your chance of having colorectal cancer goes up after age 50.
  • History of polyps. Some types of polyps increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • History of bowel disease. Some diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease increase the risk of colon cancer.
  • Family History of Colorectal Cancer. If you have close relatives who have had this cancer, your risk is increased.
  • Race. There is a higher incidence of colorectal cancer in the African American population than in other ethnicities.  Also, African Americans have the highest death rates from colorectal cancer.
  • Diet. A diet high in fat, especially from animal sources, can increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Cancer of the colon and rectum often causes no symptoms, especially at first.  But if you experience any of the following, please contact your doctor as these may indicate the presence of cancer.

  • Bleeding, almost always bright red, often with a bowel movement.  (This type of bleeding can often be mistaken for hemorrhoids.)
  • Urgency to have a bowel movement.
  • Loss of control of bowel movements.
  • Abdominal distention or bloating.
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Weight loss.
  • Pain, which is a late symptom.

Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Screening tests are used to look for disease in people who do not have any symptoms.  Quite often, these tests can find colorectal cancers at an early stage and greatly improve the chances of successful treatment.  Screening tests can also help prevent some cancers by allowing doctors to find and remove polyps that might become cancer.

  • Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT).  Should be done every year after age 50.  You will need to avoid certain foods two days prior to testing (spinach and iron supplements.)
  • Colonoscopy/Sigmoidoscopy.
  1. Have a baseline study at 50 years of age unless you have prior personal or family history of cancer, then begin at age 40.
  2. Documented polyps should be removed.  This decreases the incidence of developing cancer and allows the doctor to determine if a polyp is pre-cancerous or benign.

Proper screening occurs in less than 15% of the population compared with 80% for Breast and Prostate Cancers.

When should I be tested for Colorectal Cancer?

The American Cancer Society recommends that testing should begin at age 50 if you have an average risk for the disease.  If you are at a high risk for the disease, talk to your doctor about starting at an earlier age.

Treating Colorectal Cancer

If someone you know has recently been diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer, you will need to discuss potential treatment options with your doctor, a Radiation Oncologist, and a medical oncologist.  Acceptable treatment options are:

  • Radiation Therapy
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy

Breast Care Center Phone: 607-798-6161 Medical Oncology (Chemotherapy) Phone: 607-798-5307; Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy) Phone: 607-798-5230; Contact your primary care provider to schedule your colorectal cancer screening.; To determine if you are a candidate for CT Lung Screening, contact our Nurse Navigator at 607-798-LUNG (5864).