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Cancer Prevention, Screening and Diagnosis

Cancer care as unique as you

Cancer care as unique as you

At UC San Diego Health, you find doctors who can help you reduce your cancer risk and deliver a timely, accurate diagnosis for optimal care planning.

We offer advanced cancer screenings and diagnostic testing to detect cancer early, when treatments are most effective and less invasive. In some cases, our cancer screenings can prevent cancer.  We also encourage you to make lifestyle changes that can reduce your cancer risk:

UC San Diego Health is the region's only federally recognized Comprehensive Cancer Center. We are also repeatedly ranked among the nation's best for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report.

Early Detection and Screening

Screening tests aim to prevent or detect cancer early. They do not diagnose cancer. They flag for abnormalities or precancerous cells that may be further investigated with diagnostic testing. Diagnostic tests, including lab tests, biopsy and diagnostic imaging, are used to diagnose and stage cancer.

As the medical profession learns more about the genetic, lifestyle-related and environmental risk factors for cancer, screening guidelines are becoming more personalized and nuanced. We encourage you to discuss your family medical history and lifestyle with your physicians to decide on screenings that are appropriate for you. 

Common Cancer Screenings and Prevention

Some common cancer screenings your doctor may recommend include:

Note that routine screenings are performed when you have no symptoms, as part of your preventive care. 

Screening for High-Risk Individuals

We offer special screening and diagnostic services for individuals at high risk of certain cancers due to genetics, lifestyle or environmental exposure, including:

Family History

Learn about your family risk of cancer. Five percent to 10 percent of all cancers occur in people who have a family member with the same cancer. Knowing what cancers have been in the family is the first step toward personalized screening and preventive options. If you have a family history of cancer, see the Family Cancer Genetics Program for more information.