Cancer Prevention Tips – Part 4

Early cancer detection saves lives…if we all get “smart” about cancer maybe we can improve the good news…for the last few days we have been talking about something the American Cancer Society is telling us…50% of cancer deaths can be eliminated!

One of the most important things we can do is to be screened…here’s how:

Skin: If you are an adult, your primary care physician should give you a yearly skin exam and if you are at high risk, you need to have annual skin-cancer screening performed by a dermatologist. Meanwhile, those of us at high risk for melanoma or other skin cancer should examine our own skin monthly, and even have a family member examine those hard to see places, even our scalp.

Colon: After age 50, everyone should have a colonoscopy. Most often, this test is needed once every 5 years and even more often if anyone in your family had
colon cancer.

Breast: At age 40 and above, all women should get an annual mammogram and a breast exam performed by a professional healthcare provider preferably a physician.

Prostate: All men, starting at age 50, should have an annual physical exam. This exam should include a digital-rectal exam. Also, it is important to have a blood test to check for blood levels of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA. If that level is elevated it MAY be an indication of prostate cancer.

Cervix: A yearly Pap smear should start as soon as a teenager or a woman is sexually active. The presence of a virus in the cervix is a very early indication of increased risk. Great news….it is a very, very treatable! This should continue throughout life with frequency depending on a female’s risk and age.

IF YOU ARE HIGH RISK, PLEASE HAVE THESE TESTS AT AN EARLIER AGE!

What makes you high risk? Does cancer run in your family? Have you smoked? Worked around chemicals? Been around radiation? Been overly exposed to the sun? Been around pollutants? Eaten a lot of sugar? Do you have a Type A personality? Have you had a high stress lifestyle?

Please discuss what places you at high risk with your licensed health care professional!

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