National Cancer Control Month
Fortunately, there are many very effective cancer screening tests and healthy lifestyle changes that can decrease the likelihood of you becoming a victim of this disease.
Take a few moments to strategize your personal “cancer control plan” each April during National Cancer Control Month. Screenings save lives — so determine what screening test you may be due for, and schedule an appointment to have them done. Prevention is always the goal — and treatment is our backup plan.
Lung Cancer Control
- Quit smoking (1-800-QUIT-NOW)
- Avoid secondhand smoke
- Get a chest x-ray if you have a history of tobacco exposure with new cough
Skin Cancer Control
- Avoid excessive sun exposure
- Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, hats, umbrella, sunglasses, or seek shade
- Have any moles or skin lesions evaluated by your doctor yearly
Breast Cancer Control
- Yearly mammograms starting at age 40 (earlier with family history)*
- Yearly clinical breast exam by your doctor
- Monthly SBE (Self Breast Exams)
* Editor’s Note: While the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) changed its recommendations in 2009, to women at average risk for breast cancer starting biennial mammograms at age 50, most medical organizations don’t agree. Speak to your healthcare provider about your family history for more information.
Colorectal Cancer Control
- Colonoscopy starting at age of 50 (earlier with family history)
- Fecal occult stool cards to check for hidden blood in stools
- Diet rich in fruits and vegetables
Prostate Cancer Control
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood work(depending on family history)
- Digital rectal examination with any urination changes
- Know your family history
Gynecological Cancer Control
- PAP smears starting at age 21 or within 3 years of the first sexual encounter
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) testing
- Reporting any gynecological changes (skin lesions, menstrual changes, etc.)
While there are numerous other types of cancer, they do not all have standardized screening recommendations. You can decrease your general cancer risk by limiting alcohol consumption, increasing your physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a stable weight.
Knowing your family history is also important when planning your cancer control program. The timing of many tests is affected by family history, and your particular family history may suggest an increased prevalence toward a specific type of cancer that your doctor may need to screen for. Being proactive in your personal cancer prevention and control will help keep you cancer-free.
For more information, visit:
Breast Cancer Info: http://www.breastcancer.org/
Cervical Cancer Info: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/cervical
Skin Cancer Info: http://www.skincancer.org/
Lung Cancer Info: http://www.lungcancer.org/
President Obama’s 2012 Cancer Control Month Proclamation:
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been actively practicing mdicines since 1999. A committed Christian passionate about helping others experience freedom in Christ, Dr. Dalton-Smith is the author of the award-winning book, Set Free to Live Free:Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves. For more information, visit http://drdaltonsmith.com.