Healthcare

April is Cancer Control Month!

 

Cancer Control Month

Over one million people get cancer each year!  The odds are that you know someone that has cancer or will get cancer. However, not everyone understands what it is, who can get it and most importantly, how to prevent it. Here are some frequently asked questions about cancer and cancer control.

What is cancer?

Although there are many kinds of cancer, they all start because of out-of-control growth of abnormal cells. During the early years of a person’s life, normal cells grow and divide more rapidly until the person becomes an adult. After that, cells in most parts of the body divide only to replace worn-out or dying cells and to repair injuries. Cancer cells continue to grow, divide, and do not die out. They outlive normal cells and continue to form new abnormal cells.

Who gets cancer?

Anyone can get cancer at any age; however, majority of all cancers are diagnosed in people that are 55 and older. Cancer occurs in Americans of all racial and ethnic groups. The sooner a cancer is found and the sooner treatment begins, the better a patient’s chances are of a cure. That’s why early detection of cancer is such an important weapon in the fight against cancer.

What are the risk factors for cancer?

Cancers of the lung, mouth, larynx, bladder, kidney, cervix esophagus, and pancreas are related to tobacco use. Smoking alone causes one-third of all cancer deaths. Skin cancer is related to unprotected exposure to strong sunlight. Breast cancer risk factors include several factors: age, changes in hormone levels, genetics, number of pregnancies, and obesity. While all men are at risk for prostate cancer, several factors can increase the chances of developing the disease, such as age, race, diet, and genetics.

How do I prevent and control cancer?

There are four main ways to prevent cancer. These are being physically active (30 minutes a day), eating a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding all tobacco (including second hand smoke), and getting screened! Other ways to control cancer are to decrease intake of alcohol, maintain a healthy weight, wear sunscreen, receive vaccines, make regular visits with your primary care physician, and eat many different fruits and vegetables.

To know when and how often to get screened, please view the chart listed below. This data is from the American Cancer Society. Please visit the website listed below for a more detailed outline regarding the guidelines for the early detection of cancer.

http://www.cancer.org/healthy/findcancerearly/cancerscreeningguidelines/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer

 

 

Screenings

For Women

Age

19

20

25

30

40

45

50

60

65 and older

Breast cancer:

self-exam

Every month

Breast cancer:

doctor exam

Every 1-3 years

Every year

Breast cancer:

mammogram

Every year

Cervical Cancer

Every 2 years

Pap and HPV test every 5 years

No testing if previous tests are normal

Colorectal cancer

Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years OR

Colonoscopy every 10 years OR

Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years OR

CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years

Fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) every year OR

Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year

Uterine cancer

By menopause, all women should understand risks and symptoms

Lung cancer

Screening for only those at high risk of lung cancer due to cigarette smoking

 

 

 

Screenings

For Men

Age

19

20

25

30

40

45

50

60

65 and older

Prostate cancer

Men at 50 should talk with doctor

about pros and cons of screening

If African American OR have a father or brother

with prostate cancer before 65 years old,

men at 45 should talk to their doctor about screening

Lung cancer

Screening for only those at high risk of lung cancer due to cigarette smoking

Colorectal cancer

Colonoscopy every 10 years OR

Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years OR

CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years

Fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) every year OR

Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year

 

 

 

** It is best to see your primary care physician regularly in order to be screened for these cancer’s. Please call 773-702-0660 to make an appointment at Friend Family Health Center. **