Cancer Prevention

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 prostate cancer.
  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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