For more information on early detection for certain cancer sites, click on the links below:
First, it's important to emphasize what we can do to prevent cancer. The key to cancer prevention, as it is for other diseases, is an emphasis on a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Following all of these behaviors can help to lower your risk of ever developing cancer:
- Eliminate the use of tobacco and alcohol
- Maintain an ideal body weight and regularly exercise
- Follow a diet low in saturated fats and high in natural sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber
- Use sunscreen and wear a hat and shirt when you are in the sun. Seek shade when possible.
Even though you can't prevent all cases of cancer, effective detection strategies exist for many of the common types of cancer. The goal is to detect cases while in an early (or even pre-cancerous) stage when treatment can result in a long-term cure.
A risk factor is anything that may increase a person's chance of developing a disease. It may be an activity, such as smoking, diet, family history, or many other things. Different diseases, including cancers, have different risk factors. But, knowing your risk factors to any disease can help to guide you into the appropriate actions, including changing behaviors and being clinically monitored for the disease.
Although these factors can increase a person's risk, they do not necessarily cause the disease. Some people with one or more risk factors never develop cancer, while others develop cancer and have no known risk factors.