Screenings & Early Detection
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.
You can 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
Recommended cancer testing can help save your life. Cancer screening exams 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.
Be sure to tell your doctor or nurse if you have had any type of cancer or if your mother, father, brother, sister, or children have had cancer. You may need to begin testing for some cancers earlier or be tested more often if you have certain risk factors. Learn more about genetic testing and counseling.
At Torrance Memorial, we offer the full array of common cancer screenings:
A screening mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that is used to help look for signs of breast cancer in women who don’t have any breast symptoms or problems.
- Pap Test - The Pap test checks for cell changes or abnormal cells in the cervix.
- HPV Test - The human papillomavirus (HPV) test checks for the virus and can be done at the same time as the Pap test.
- Primary HPV Test - An HPV test that is done by itself for screening.
- Co-Testing - Testing with an HPV test and a Pap test
Colorectal & GI Cancer
Screenings for colorectal cancer available at Torrance Memorial include:
- Colonoscopy: Using a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscopy with a light and microscope, the doctor examines the entire inside of the rectum and colon for ulcers, colon polyps, tumors, and areas of inflammation or bleeding.
- Sigmoidoscopy: A thin, lighted tube is used to exam the lower colon and rectum for polyps
- Virtual colonoscopy: A procedure using a combination of x-rays and computer technology to create images of the rectum and colon. If your doctor finds signs that you have polyps, you may need to have a colonoscopy to determine whether cancer is present.
- Double-contrast barium enema: An imaging procedure that involves swallowing a dye to make the colon visible under x-ray.
People who smoke or used to smoke are at higher risk for lung cancer. Talk to a health care provider about your risk for lung cancer, and the possible benefits, limitations, and harms of getting tested for early lung cancer.
Levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood may be higher in men with prostate cancer, in addition to other conditions. With a digital rectal exam, a health care provider checks the prostate for lumps or abnormal size.
A thorough examination of the skin is performed; if suspicious lesions are found, a skin biopsy can be performed.
Insurance typically covers prevention and screening services. Please check to confirm your specific health care benefits.