Though a small percentage of cancers are inherited, the majority of cases
are not. It’s true that cancer risk increases with age, but it’s
a mistake to think that getting cancer is inevitable. Living a healthy
lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious
diet, exercising regularly and managing your stress, goes far in preventing
many types of cancer.
Cancer screening exams are important too. Many can detect pre-cancerous
changes in your body that can be treated before the cancer has a chance
to develop. Also, early detection and treatment often offer the best odds
for full recovery.
Take control of your health, and reduce your cancer risk:
Stay away from tobacco; if you are a smoker, we offer ongoing
smoking cessation programs and classes that can help you quit.
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Get moving with regular physical activity
- Eat healthy
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Protect your skin
- Know yourself, your family history, and your risks
- Have regular check-ups and cancer screening tests
Cancer Screening: Early Detection, More Effective Treatment
Catching cancer in its early stages is the best way to defeat the disease.
At Torrance Memorial, we proudly offer our South Bay community some of
the most advanced screening and testing procedures and technologies available.
These sophisticated screening tools can enable you or a loved one to find
and fight cancer when it is most treatable. Early screening and testing
not only allow for less invasive cancer treatments, with higher odds of
success, it also puts you in control of your health.
At Torrance Memorial, we offer the full array of common cancer screenings,
just about all on an outpatient basis:
Breast Cancer: A clinical breast exam and
screening mammogram can help detect early breast cancers.
Cervical Cancer: Human papilloma virus (HPV) testing is performed to identify women with
the virus who are at risk of cervical cancer; a pap smear test can detect
abnormal cells in the cervix.
Colorectal Cancer: We offer both conventional and virtual colonoscopies.
Lung Cancer: For former and current heavy smokers who meet screening criteria, a low-dose, helical
CT lung scan is available.
Prostate Cancer: A digital rectal exam and PSA blood test are available helpful in identifying
Skin Cancer: A thorough examination of the skin is performed; if suspicious lesions
are found, a skin biopsy can be performed.
Genetic Testing and Counseling
Prevention is always preferable to treatment – and, when it comes
to cancer, genetic screening and counseling are valuable, often life-saving
tools. A risk for cancer can be inherited in that the genetic mutations
(changes) can trigger development of precancerous or cancerous cells.
For certain types of cancer, genetic testing can help predict the odds
you will develop the disease; genetic counseling by trained professionals
helps interpret the results so you can arrive at an informed decision
on the steps you want to take to prevent cancer.
Advanced Diagnostic Tests for Cancer
Many cases of cancer are identified by screening tests. Still others are
found when a symptom, such as a lump, digestive problems or some other
sort of physical change, suggests there may be a problem.
At the Hunt Cancer Institute, our specialists use advanced techniques and
technology to determine whether cancer is present and, if so, to identify
the specific type so we can recommend the most effective treatment.
Advanced imaging capabilities that allow visualization into the body and
even inside the organs have revolutionized modern cancer diagnosis and
treatment. Every year advances in imaging technology bring greater accuracy
and less discomfort to people with cancer. Physicians now use imaging
devices and procedures at every phase of cancer treatment, including for
screening, diagnosis and staging.
Here at Torrance Memorial, our Hunt Cancer Institute provides our South
Bay Community access to some of the most sophisticated imaging technology
available. Our expert radiologists and technologists use the latest imaging
technology to detect suspicious areas and find cancer (even pre-cancer)
at the earliest and most treatable stages.
At Torrance Memorial we’re proud to be one of only a few cancer institutes
in the entire state of California offering the latest interventional radiology
procedures for cancer diagnostics. A subspecialty of radiology, interventional
radiology uses minimally invasive, image-guided procedures to diagnose
and treat diseases and disorders, including cancer.
Among the reasons your doctor may suggest an interventional radiology procedure are:
- For diagnosis and staging of your cancer
- Insertion of medical devices (such as drains or PICC lines for chemotherapy)
- To perform procedures that will keep you more comfortable.
A biopsy (a sample of tissue taken from the part of your body where cancer
is suspected) is how cancer is diagnosed. Imaging tests, such as X-rays,
are helpful in detecting masses or areas of abnormality, but they can't
differentiate cancerous cells from noncancerous ones. A biopsy to collect
cells for closer examination is required to definitively diagnose most
types of cancer.
Our pathology labs use multiple techniques to test biopsied tissue to determine
whether it is cancer and, if so, of what specific type and sub-type. Accurate
diagnosis is vital to successful treatment of cancer.
At Torrance Memorial we use advanced techniques and modern imaging technology
to obtain biopsies in the least invasive fashion. We do everything we
can to help you stay comfortable during the procedure, and to ensure that
your recovery is quick and uneventful.
An accurate diagnosis is the most important part of your cancer testing
and screening. Torrance Memorial has an advanced laboratory with top-tier
technology. Our expert pathologists use a sophisticated array of tests
and analyses to thoroughly examine all biopsies and tissue samples to
arrive at the correct diagnosis.