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A Comprehensive Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Focus on Prevention

The best way to fight cancer is to prevent it from developing. A leader in prevention, the UCCCC has pioneered model clinics to benefit people at high risk of primary or recurrent cancer. Our specialists are developing new prevention strategies based on cutting-edge research and are applying these strategies to high-risk individuals.

The University of Chicago Cancer Risk Clinic, founded in 1992, was the first in Illinois to provide comprehensive preventative services. Today, more than 3,000 patients are closely monitored for the very earliest signs of breast, ovarian, and gastrointestinal cancers. These patients include both cancer survivors with a high risk of recurrence and individuals with a family history or personal genetic profile that make them more vulnerable to the disease.

Building upon the success of the Cancer Risk Clinic, UChicago launched the Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Risk Clinic in 2006, one of a handful nationwide, exclusively devoted to improving the early diagnosis and prevention of lung cancer. The clinic is pioneering a promising non-invasive screening tool that uses fluorescent light to detect pre-cancerous lesions in the bronchial passages.

Scientists are convinced that transforming breakthroughs in prevention research will come from our new understanding of the human genome. Using systems-level science to decipher the interplay among vast networks of genes, the environment, and other factors will enable us to map the causes of cancer, predict cancer risk for individuals, and design personalized prevention and treatment approaches. Scientists at UChicago's Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology are at the forefront of this new science.