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Prevention Guide 

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1 million Americans get cancer each year. While you can't change your age or family history, your lifestyle choices can make a difference.

Use our prevention guide to learn about your cancer risk factors, as well as the warning signs of the disease. Then, talk to your doctor about the essential cancer screenings recommended for you. You never know; it might just save your life.

Cancer Warning Signs Quiz

Early detection of cancer is important because it is usually easier to treat—and possibly cure—when caught early. Do you know what signs to look for? Take this quiz to find out more.

Test Your Knowledge

What Do You Know About Preventing Cancer?

You can take several steps to reduce your risk for cancer. Do you know what they are?

Take the Cancer Prevention Quiz

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Preventing Cancer

Most cancer cases are related to lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle choices decrease your risk of cancer and improve your overall health.

Woman breaking cigarette.Stop Smoking

  • Talk to your doctor about aids for quitting, such as nicotine patches.

  • Get support from ex-smokers.

  • Develop a plan for quitting.

  • Pick a quit date and stick to it.

Get to and Stay at a Healthy Weight

  • Get regular physical activity

  • Limit high-calorie foods and drinks

Stay Active

  • Take walks, garden, or do other activities you enjoy each day.

  • Do errands on foot or bike, not by car.

  • Join a walking or biking club.

Improve Your Diet

  • Eat fewer red meats and processed meats.

  • Eat at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily, especially leafy greens.

  • Eat more whole grains instead of refined grain products.

  • Eat more vegetable protein, such as tofu.

  • Eat foods from the cabbage family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.

  • Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.

Protect Yourself From Hazards

  • When outdoors during the day, wear SPF 15 or greater sunscreen.

  • When out in sunlight, wear a hat and sunglasses.

  • Seek shade midday when the sun is hottest.

  • Be aware of all hazardous substances at work or in your home.

  • When working with hazardous substances, wear protective clothing

Talk to Your Doctor About Cancer Screenings

Screening can prevent some types of cancer, such as cervical and colorectal cancers, by finding and removing abnormal areas before they have a chance to become cancer. For some other types of cancer, screening might find cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be effective:

  • Breast (self-exam, professional breast exam, mammogram)

  • Skin (self-exam, professional exam, biopsy)

  • Cervical (Pap test, HPV test)

  • Colorectal (screening for blood in stool, colonoscopy)

  • Prostate (digital rectal exam, PSA blood test)

  • Testicular (self-exam, professional exam)


Six Steps to Reduce Your Risk

Most cancer cases are related to lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle choices decrease your risk of cancer and improve your overall health.

Read More

The Dos and Don'ts of Cancer Prevention

There are certain cancer risk factors we’re stuck with, but there are plenty of risk factors we can address.

Download the Tipsheet

A Woman's Guide to Cancer Screenings

When was the last time you had a mammogram? Do you know when you should have a colon cancer screening? Get the facts on the simple cancer screenings recommended for women.

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