Most cancers take years to develop. Many things can affect your chance of getting cancer. While you can’t control some risk factors, like getting older, you can control many others. Here’s what you need to know about cancer and the importance of screening tests.
Raising Cancer Awareness
There are things you can do every day to avoid getting cancer. Two of the most important things you can do are making healthy choices and getting the right screening tests for you.
Make Healthy Choices
- Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to lower your cancer risk. Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. If you don’t smoke, make sure you stay away from other people’s smoke.
- The link between smoking and cancer is well-known. But you may be surprised by other things that can lead to cancer.
- Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or artificial sources like a tanning bed, booth, or sunlamp can cause skin cancer, the most common cancer.
- Drinking alcohol raises your risk of getting six kinds of cancer, including breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
- About 40% of all cancers are associated with being overweight and obese.
Get Cancer Screening Tests
Screening tests can find cancer early when treatment works best.
Breast Cancer Screening
Mammograms are the best test to find breast cancer early. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that you get a mammogram every two years if you’re 50 to 74 years old and are at average risk for breast cancer. If you’re 40 to 49 years old, ask your doctor when to start and how often to get a mammogram.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early. The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if not treated appropriately. The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes. Check with your Health Care Provider for age-appropriate recommendations.
Colorectal Cancer Screening
Doctors recommend getting screened for colorectal cancer soon after age 50 and regularly screened until age 75. Several screening tests are available. Some can be done at home, and others are done in a doctor’s office. Talk to your doctor about which test is right for you.
Lung Cancer Screening
The USPSTF recommends yearly lung cancer screening with low dose computed tomography (LDCT) for 55 to 80 years old, have a history of heavy smoking, and smoke now or quit within the past 15 years.
Are you in the Northwest Arkansas area and need a health care provider? Our knowledgeable and friendly staff is here to help. Call Creekside Center for Women today to schedule an appointment. Your health is our top priority. 479.582.9268