ways to reduce your risk for many types of cancer

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Due to medical advancement, the number of cancer cases can be reduced and many cancer deaths can be prevented.

Screening tests are used widely to check for cancers of the breast, cervix, colon and rectum. Screening means checking your body for cancer before you have symptoms. Getting screening tests regularly may find breast, cervical, and colorectal (colon) cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best. Research shows that screening for cervical and colorectal cancers as recommended helps prevent these diseases by finding precancerous lesions so they can be treated before they become cancerous. Screening for cervical, colorectal, and breast cancers also helps find these diseases at an early, often highly treatable stage.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and some vaginal and vulvar cancers. But, the HPV vaccine does not substitute for routine cancer screening.

Tests of the blood, urine, or other fluids can help doctors make a diagnosis. These tests can show how well an organ (such as the kidney) is doing its job. Nevertheless, doctors cannot rely on lab tests alone to diagnose cancer.

Imaging procedures, such as X-rays and MRI, create pictures of areas inside your body that help the doctor see whether a tumor is present.

The bottom line is that screening tests, lab tests, and imaging procedures are used to check for conditions that may lead to cancer in people who have no symptoms.

A person's cancer risk can be reduced in other ways by adopting a healthy lifestyle, avoiding tobacco use, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake, being physically active, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and avoiding excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds.

Poor diet, lack of physical activity, and being overweight are risk factors for cancers of the breast, colon, esophagus, kidney, and uterus.

Cigarette smoking causes almost all cases of lung cancer. Smoking also causes cancer of the voicebox, mouth and throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, and stomach. Adults who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20% to 30%.