April is Cancer Control Month

April is 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 cancers. Please call 773-702-0660 to make an appointment at Friend Family Health Center. **

How is cancer treated?

            The four major types of treatment for cancer are surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and biologic therapies. Your cancer treatment will be entirely based on your unique situation. Certain types of cancer and the stage the cancer is at respond very differently to different types of treatment. Knowing these factors will help your doctor provide the most effective treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; it is your right to know what treatments are most likely to help you and what their side effects may be.

 

 

 

 

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