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Risk Assessment and Prevention

A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of developing cancer. You can control some risks by:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Controlling your weight
  • Being physically active
  • Alleviating stress
  • Following healthy dietary guidelines

The American Cancer Society offers nutritional guidelines to reduce your risk of cancer including:

  • Eating five services of fruits and vegetables per day
  • Eating breads, cereals, grains, rice, pasta and beans several times per day
  • Limiting meat intake, especially red meats
  • Limiting alcohol consumptions

Risk factors that you can not control include:

  • Family history of cancer
  • Past long term exposure to asbestos, radon, or coal tar.

Early detection of cancer can save your life. The following cancer screening tests are recommended to help detect cancer at its earliest, most curable stages.

Cancer Screening for Women

EXAM

HOW OFTEN

Breast self exam Monthly
Breast exam by healthcare professional Every 1 to 3 years or annually over age 40
Mammogram Annually after age 40
Pap smear Annual age 18 & over
Digital rectal exam Annual after age 40
Fecal occult blood test Annually after age 50
Flexible sigmoidoscopy Every 5 years after age 50
Skin self exam Monthly

Cancer Screening for Men

EXAM

HOW OFTEN

Testicular self exam Monthly
Digital rectal exam Annual after age 40
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA Bloodtest) Annually age 50 to 70
Fecal occult blood test Annually after age 50
Flexible sigmoidoscopy Every 5 years after age 50
Skin self exam Monthly