AM I AT RISK?
Your risk for some cancers may be increased if you...
- Are growing older
- Have two or more relatives on the same side of the family who have had the same type of cancer
- Are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent
- Have a relative who was diagnosed with cancer before they were 50
- Have spent many hours in the sun
- Had one or more severe sunburns before the age of 18
- Are overweight
- Current of former use of tobacco products (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, cigars, pipes)
- Use alcohol; even in a moderation, may increase the risk of some cancers
- Are infected with a high-risk type of HPV (human papillomavirus), hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), or H. pylori
- Have had multiple sex partners
If you are concerned about your risk, please ask about our Cancer Surveillance Clinics.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT CANCER?
- Live a healthy lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight and waistline
- Aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week and two days of muscle strengthening per week
- Eat a plant-based diet selecting most of your food from plant sources (vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans)
- Avoid foods high in fat, sugar and salt
- Don't use tobacco products of any kind (cigarettes, chewing, tobacco, snuff, cigars, pipes)
- Avoid second-hand smoke
- Protect yourself from the sun when outdoors:
- Wear SPF 15 or higher with UVA/UVB protection
- Avoid the sun between peak hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Wear a hat that covers your ears and protects your nose
- Wear clothes that are dark colored and tightly woven
- Do not use tanning beds
- Avoid or limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- If you are age 26 or younger and did not get the three-dose HPV vaccine series, discuss the vaccine with your healthcare provider
- If you were born between 1945 and 1965, discuss screening for hepatitis C infection with your healthcare provider
- Know your family's history of cancer
- Get regular cancer screenings
WHAT SHOULD I WATCH FOR?
If you have any of these warning signs for cancer, contact your health care provider:
- Change in bathroom habits (bowel or bladder) not related to diet
- A sore that does not heal
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Thickening or lump in your breast or other part of your body
- Having frequent indigestion (heartburn) or frequent difficulty swallowing
- Pain,pressure or bloating in your abdomen (belly)
- Persistent pain during sex
- Change in a wart or mole
- Any persistent change in color of your skin, mouth, or genital areas
- Coughing or hoarseness that does not go away
- Unexplained general fatigue (tiredness)
- Loss of more than 5-10 pounds without trying
- Any headache that does not go away or keeps coming back
NEXT: Women's Cancer Screening Checklist