Cancer and Women

Cancer and Women
Not Just Words

This animated video discusses the importance of knowing the symptoms of cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Cancer and Women Animated Video

You can take steps every day to lower your chance of getting certain kinds of cancer.

Most cancers take years to develop. Many things can affect your chance of getting cancer. Things that raise your chance of getting cancer are called risk factors.

You can’t control some risk factors, like getting older. But you can control many others. In fact, there are things you can do every day to avoid getting cancer.Two of the most important things you can do are making healthy choices and getting the screening tests that are right for you.
Healthy Choices

Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to lower your cancer risk. Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. If you don’t smoke, make sure you stay away from other people’s smoke.

The link between smoking and cancer is well-known. But you may be surprised by other things that can lead to cancer.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or artificial sources like a tanning bed, booth, or sunlamp can cause skin cancer, the most common cancer.
Drinking alcohol raises your risk of getting six kinds of cancer, including breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
About 40% of all cancers are associated with overweight and obesity.

Get details about making healthy choices to lower your cancer risk.
Screening Tests

Screening tests can find breast, cervical, and colorectal (colon) cancers early, when treatment works best. Lung cancer screening is recommended for some people who are at high risk.
Breast Cancer Screening

Mammograms are the best test to find breast cancer early. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a group of experts, recommends that you get a mammogram every two years if you’re 50 to 74 years old and are at average risk for breast cancer. If you’re 40 to 49 years old, ask your doctor when to start and how often to get a mammogram.
Cervical Cancer Screening

Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early. The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.

If you’re 21 to 29 years old: You should get Pap tests regularly.
If you’re 30 to 65 years old: You can get a Pap test, an HPV test, or both tests together.
If you’re older than 65: You may not need to be screened anymore if you have had normal screening test results for several years.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

You should start getting screened for colorectal cancer soon after turning 45, and get screened regularly until you’re 75. Several screening tests are available. Some can be done at home, and others are done in a doctor’s office. Talk to your doctor about which test is right for you.
Lung Cancer Screening

The USPSTF recommends yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for people who are 50 to 80 years old, have a history of heavy smoking, and smoke now or quit within the past 15 years.
Featured Resources
Photo of Cote de Pablo

In this video, Cote de Pablo talks about her cervical cancer scare. “Please pay attention to your health—for you and the people who care about you,” she says.
Photo of a woman getting a mammogram

When you get the results of your mammogram, you may also be told that you have dense breasts. This video explains what that means and why it’s important.
Photo of a woman at a beach. She is wearing a long-sleeved shirt and a hat with a wide brim.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. Too much sun can increase your risk. This video explains how to protect your skin from the sun.

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