Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in the United States. The good news is that it usually develops slowly and is preventable. That’s why routine screenings are so important. When found early, doctors can stop colorectal cancer before it starts.
Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smokeless tobacco causes cancer of the mouth and can lead to nicotine addiction. If you use tobacco, you know you should quit. In fact, most adults who smoke cigarettes want to quit. And most adults who smoked cigarettes in the past have successfully quit. If you’ve tried quitting but started smoking or chewing tobacco again, a solid plan can improve your chances of quitting for good.
Cervical cancer occurs in the cells of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus. Screening tests can find cervical cancer early, when treatment tends to be more successful. Screenings can also detect abnormal cells that may be pre-cancers, so they can be treated before the cells turn into cervical cancer. The most important thing you can do to help prevent cervical cancer is to have regular screenings starting at age 21.
For men, the decision to get a prostate cancer screening is personal and complex. Medical organizations offer different recommendations regarding prostate cancer screenings. And, unlike other types of cancer, not all prostate cancers need treatment. Some men may find that the potential risks of screenings outweigh the benefits. Only you and your doctor can decide whether or not prostate cancer screening is right for you.
Screening mammograms use low-dose X-rays to find breast cancer early, before it causes any warning signs. These tests are important for women because treatment is more likely to be successful the sooner breast cancer is detected. The chances of survival are higher, too. While national health organizations offer different breast cancer screening guidelines, everyone agrees that women should discuss the benefits and risks of mammograms with their doctors and decide together when to begin screenings and how often to repeat them.
Turning 50 involves a rite of passage most of us avoid talking about: the dreaded colonoscopy. As a widely used exam that detects changes and abnormalities in the large intestine and rectum, colonoscopies get a bad rap, but screenings for colorectal cancer can save lives. The good news for newly minted quinquagenarians (people ages 50 to 59) is that now you may be able to take an at-home colon cancer test called Cologuard® instead of getting a colonoscopy, as long as you meet a few requirements.
Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Melanoma is a cancer that usually begins in skin cells. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is less common than other types of skin cancer, but it’s more likely to grow and spread. While melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, if it’s caught and treated early, it is usually curable.