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Cancer Screening and Treatment

Detecting cancer early and planning treatment

A smiling young Caucasian couple represent the full life that can be led after cancer screening and treatment.

Detecting cancer early and planning treatment

Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center offers a variety of cancer screening tests to detect cancer in its earliest stages, when it’s generally most treatable. Most screenings find nothing wrong, but if your results suggest that you need additional testing, your physician will let you know and discuss the next steps with you.

Scripps MD Anderson cancer specialists use the latest technology and research advancements to treat many types of cancer. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the most common treatment methods, and may be used alone or in combination. We understand that no two patients are exactly alike, and we develop personalized treatment plans based on each patient’s diagnosis and overall health. We encourage patients to ask questions about their treatment options at any time.

Cancer screening

Scripps MD Anderson offers several preventive screening exams to detect cancer as early as possible. Routine cancer screening tests include mammograms, colonoscopies, cervical exams, prostate exams and skin cancer screenings. These screenings are designed to detect cancer in its earliest stages, and sometimes even in precancerous stages. There are also community-based programs that may make these screenings more accessible to you.

Cancer risks vary by age, gender, health, risk factors and family history. Not all cancer can be found through screenings, so talk with your physician about your personal risks and medical profile.


Chemotherapy treats cancer with drugs given orally or intravenously into the bloodstream to kill cancer cells, reduce tumor size or relieve cancer symptoms. Often, chemotherapy treatment plans require multiple doses over several weeks or months. Doses, frequency and combinations of drugs are personalized to each patient’s needs. 

In addition to providing these services at hospitals and chemotherapy infusion centers, Scripps provides support and resources to help patients who may experience side effects.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is a treatment for cancer and may be used alone or with other treatment methods. Radiation treatment directs invisible high energy, such as X-rays and electron beams, at cancer cells to kill them or limit their ability to grow.

Types of radiation therapy

Scripps MD Anderson offers three categories of radiation therapy for cancer treatment: external beam radiation, internal radiation (sometimes referred to as brachytherapy or radioactive seed) and systemic radiation. Within those categories are different types of radiation therapy for specific treatment goals.

Radiation therapy FAQs

We get many questions about radiation therapy because of our proven expertise in this treatment method in San Diego County. Start with our frequently asked questions about radiation therapy, and never hesitate to contact your physician or care team any time you have questions or need more information.

What to expect when undergoing radiation therapy

Receiving any form of cancer treatment can feel intimidating and difficult for many patients as well as their loved ones. To help ease concerns and receive maximum benefit from treatment, Scripps MD Anderson offers insights offers insights into what to expect from radiation therapy, including how to prepare, how procedures are performed and what happens after treatment. Our physicians also welcome any additional questions you may have.