Cancer Prevention Works: Your Actions Can Make a Difference

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Cancer Prevention: Actions Can Make a Difference

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There are many ways for you to take action to lower your risk of getting cancer and have a better chance of finding and treating cancer early. Healthy lifestyle choices such as getting regular physical activity, choosing a healthy eating plan, avoiding tobacco (or quitting if still smoking), and limiting the amount of alcohol you drink can reduce your risk of cancer. But, there’s more that you can do. Learning your family history of cancer can help you know if you have a higher risk for certain types of cancer. Screening tests are another way for you to take action. Getting recommended screening tests for breast, cervical, colorectal (colon), and lung cancers can find cancer early, when treatment is likely to work best.

  • Breast cancer screening can find cancer before it causes symptoms and can be easier to treat.
  • Cervical cancer screening can find abnormal cells before they can turn into cancer.
  • Colon cancer screening can find polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed before turning into cancer.
  • Lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) can find cancer when treatment may work better, but is recommended only for adults who have no symptoms and are at high risk.

Talking with your doctor regularly about your health and family health history can help you understand when and how often you should be screened, so that you can take action to lower your risk of getting cancer. Cancer can still occur even if all these steps are taken. Learn more about screening tests.

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construction worker standing outside

Skin Cancer Prevention Behaviors Among Agricultural and Construction Workers

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Some people have a higher risk than others, but anyone can get it. Because agricultural and construction workers (ACWs) spend most of their work-related time outdoors, they may be at an increased risk for skin cancer due to higher levels of sun exposure. A new study looks at how common skin cancer prevention behaviors are among ACWs. The study found that more than half of ACWs reported never using sunscreen when outside on a warm sunny day for more than 1 hour. About one-third of ACWs had at least 1 sunburn in the past year. The percentage of agricultural workers wearing sun-safe clothing was significantly higher than among construction workers by industry (70.9% vs 50.7%) and occupation (70.5% vs 53.0%). These results support a need for sun-safety and skin cancer prevention efforts for ACWs and their employers.

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man using mobile app to help quit smoking

Year of Cessation: Making Connections to Quit Smoking

Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for at least 13 types of cancer and also is associated with harmful health outcomes in cancer survivors. Providers can play an important role in advising cancer survivors who smoke to quit and in letting them know that continued smoking negatively impacts their health. Providers can connect cancer survivors who smoke with cessation counseling and medications that increase their chance of quitting. Comprehensive cancer centers and other health systems that treat cancer survivors can play a critical role by integrating tobacco dependence treatment into the care they provide.

Quitting smoking improves the prognosis of cancer survivors, underscoring the importance of tobacco cessation. For this reason, CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health has designated 2019 as its Year of Cessation to support and highlight cessation efforts, all with the end goal of helping all people who smoke to quit and start on a healthier path. 

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NCCRT logo

Coming Soon! National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable

The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT), Fight Colorectal Cancer, will take place on March 7, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The American Cancer Society (ACS), Mayo Clinic, Exact Sciences, and UPS are teaming up to host this event with CDC as a key partner. The event kicks off Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and officially launches NCCRT’s new campaign 80% in Every Community. Discussions will include achievements, contributions, and areas that still need to be reached to increase colorectal cancer screening. Stay tuned for more! Register to attend the event in person or watch the live broadcast.

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NCCRT 80 logo with caption

New Blog Post Features the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable

Take a look at our new blog post featuring the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT). DCPC’s Faye Wong shares her personal story of how colorectal cancer has touched her life and expresses her dedication to make a difference in colorectal cancer awareness through CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) and the NCCRT. The post brings awareness to colorectal cancer screening and highlights the work of NCCRT and CDC’s national programs to reduce the number of people that get colorectal cancer and die from it. A preview of NCCRT’s new campaign, 80% in Every Community is also provided. Resources for upcoming NCCRT events and colorectal cancer programs are provided throughout the post.

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Did You Know?

  • Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races and Hispanic origin populations.
  • More than 80,400 new cases of Melanomas of the skin were reported in 2015.