Cancer Prevention & Screening

How to Reduce Cancer Risk

In the video below, Dr. Dan Labriola shares his insights about certain green foods that have the ability to combat cancer.

Read the transcript

As the largest cancer program in the Pacific Northwest, the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) continuously leads the way in researching and using the latest tests available for the prevention and early detection of cancer. Our patients have access to experienced specialists and the most advanced technology, from full-field digital mammography for the early detection of breast cancer to the "gold standard" colonoscopy for colorectal cancer to genetic testing experts at the SCI's Hereditary Cancer Clinic.

Breast Cancer

Thanks to a rise in routine mammograms, more and more breast cancers are being caught in the earliest, most treatable stages. The Swedish Breast Centers are a network of breast-cancer screening and diagnostic clinics offering the latest in mammography, ultrasound and minimally invasive biopsies. Most women turn to the Swedish Breast Centers to rule out or confirm breast cancer.

The Swedish Breast Centers network includes four convenient locations and partnerships with primary- and specialty-care clinics throughout the region. Additionally, through the mobile mammography program, Swedish Breast Care Express brings high-quality mammography services to communities, organizations and businesses throughout Western Washington.

Swedish Breast Centers

Colorectal Cancer

Colonoscopy helps detect the polyps that are predecessors of colon cancer. Finding and removing these polyps prevents the development of colorectal cancers in nearly all cases. If cancer is already present, colonoscopy can help find it early enough for successful treatment.

Current guidelines recommend that most adults begin their colorectal cancer screenings at age 50. Those under age 50 with other risk factors and symptoms should talk with their physician or a specialist at the Swedish Colon and Rectal Clinic about possibly starting colorectal cancer screenings before age 50.

Physicians at Swedish have specialized training and expertise in screening and diagnosing colorectal cancer. Optical (traditional) colonoscopy remains the gold standard for screening. At Swedish, colonoscopies are performed thousands of times a year by colorectal surgeons and gastroenterologists—making Swedish's colorectal cancer screening program the largest in the Northwest.

Watch Colon Cancer Awareness Video
Colorectal cancer risk factors and symptoms
Swedish Colon and Rectal Clinic

Find a specialist

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Lung Cancer

If lung cancer can be found early, it is more likely that patients can be treated with the goal of a cure while lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. However, despite more patients being diagnosed with lung cancer each year than any other cancer, national policy for lung-cancer screening and research on patients at risk for developing lung cancer remains inadequate.

The SCI is at the forefront of lung-cancer screening research, participating in studies that evaluate the most effective methods for early detection. Currently, Swedish is one of 38 international sites and the only site in the Northwest taking part in the Early Lung Cancer Action Project (ELCAP), a study evaluating the use of spiral computerized tomography (CT) scans to screen and detect lung abnormalities early, hopefully before the cancer spreads to other organs and reduces the chance for a cure.

  • For Current or Former Smokers  - Lung Cancer Screening
  • For Secondhand Smokers (*) - Secondhand Smoke Exposure Screening
    (*) you have smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in your entire life - and you have had significant exposure to secondhand smoke

Lung Cancer Screening

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Genetic Cancer Screening

The SCI's Hereditary Cancer Clinic focuses on patients and families at risk for hereditary cancers including—but not limited to—breast, ovarian and colon cancers. The results of genetic testing can significantly influence a patient’s treatment plan, as well as indicate appropriate screening tests and medical procedures for relatives who may be at risk of cancer. Genetic testing results and consultations with SCI's experts may lead a patient at high risk to consider preventive procedures or screening procedures, such as:

  • Prophylatic Mastectomy: Surgically removing one or both breasts may prevent or reduce risk of developing hereditary breast cancer when there is no sign of breast cancer.
  • Salpingo-Oophorectomy (RRSO): Surgically removing the ovaries and fallopian tubes to prevent or reduce the risk of developing hereditary breast cancer when there is no sign of ovarian cancer. Salpingo-oophorectomy (PDF)
  • High risk breast cancer screening

Genetic cancer screening 
Swedish Cancer Institute's Hereditary Cancer Clinic

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Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer remains one of the most aggressive and difficult gynecological cancers. It is usually detected in later stages when it is more serious and difficult to treat. The ovarian cancer screening program is designed to closely monitor women with a high risk for developing ovarian cancer using the CA125 blood test and transvaginal ultrasound.

If you have a family history of two or more blood relatives with breast or ovarian cancers, or you or a close relative have tested positive for BRCA1 or BRCA2, a genetic marker, or are of Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity, you may be a candidate for this screening program.

Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research
Genetic Tests for BRCA1 and BRCA2

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Other Cancer Screenings

Routine screenings for other cancers, such as prostate and skin cancer, are offered through various partner physician offices and Swedish's Community Health Education program.


Welcome! I'm Dan Labriola. I'm a Naturopathic Doctor with the Swedish Cancer Institute and this is Swedish News You Can Use. Today we're going to talk about foods  that reduce cancer risk. So here we are at Saint Patty’s Day, emphasis on green fresh foods is very important. If you’re going to concentrate on green foods this time of year, think about broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, celery, and there's a whole bunch more of  very good green fresh fruits and vegetables. With the vegetables, and even with the fruit, if you can eat them raw or lightly cooked you’re going to have more benefit than if you overcook them. So here are some tips for reducing your cancer risk. First of all, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables every day, at least three or four servings. Secondly, make certain that your digestive system is working really well from the beginning to the end -- that you’re not having a lot of gas or indigestion. If you are, take care of those things. Thirdly, avoid fatty foods in your diet as much as you can. The best foods in terms of getting the good fats are fish and some vegetables, but a lot of red meat and a lot of very heavy fatty foods, especially those that are constipating are probably going to create more risk than benefit. Artificial colors do not count. In fact, if anything I would suggest you avoid the artificial colors and the artificial preservatives where ever you can. Fresh, brightly colored fruits and vegetables are the best bet, period. Thank you for listening. This has been News You Can Use from Swedish. I'm Dan Labriola. I'm a Naturopathic Doctor at the Swedish Cancer Institute wishing you good health!

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