Cancer facts

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Women older than 50 should get a mammography every two years. Those ages 40-49 should discuss their breast cancer risks with their doctors to determine when and how often they should get mammograms.

Source: the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States. Lung CT scan screenings can reduce lung cancer deaths among smokers by detecting cancer in its early stages so it can be treated more effectively.

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Source: Parkview Health

Screening for prostate cancer begins with a blood test called a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. Because many factors can affect PSA levels, your doctor is the best person to interpret your PSA test results.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

When colorectal cancer is found at an early stage before it has spread, the five-year relative survival rate is about 90 percent. However, about 1 in 3 people in the U.S. who should get tested for colorectal cancer have never been screened.

Source: the American Cancer Society

To help prevent against skin cancer (melanoma), seek the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; don’t get sunburned; avoid tanning; never use UV tanning beds; use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen and apply it properly; and examine the skin once a month head to toe to look for changes.

There are six skin phototypes, going from light to dark. Individuals with skin types I and II face the highest risk of developing skin cancer, while types V and VI are at the lowest risk. That is because those with more pigmentation have more natural protection from the sun. However, people with darker skin can still get skin cancer.

Source: Skin Cancer Foundation

Smoking is the greatest risk factor for bladder cancer. Smokers get bladder cancer twice as often as people who don’t smoke.

Source: Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network

Signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may include painless, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin; abdominal pain or swelling; chest pain; coughing; trouble breathing; persistent fatigue; fever; night sweats; or unexplained weight loss.

Source: the Mayo Clinic

The incidence of kidney cancer seems to be increasing. One reason for this may be the fact that imaging techniques such as computerized tomography (CT) scans are being used more often. These tests may lead to the accidental discovery of more kidney cancers.

Source: the Mayo Clinic

Women with an increased risk of endometrial cancer include those who have experienced increasing age, late menopause, never giving birth, infertility, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, estrogen treatment or tamoxifen therapy.

Source: American Cancer Society

Common leukemia signs and symptoms include fever or chills, persistent fatigue, weakness, frequent or severe infections, losing weight without trying, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen, easy bleeding or bruising, recurrent nosebleeds, tiny red spots in the skin, excessive sweating (especially at night), and bone pain or tenderness.

Source: the Mayo Clinic

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include age (55 or older), gender (male), obesity, diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, smoking and certain genetic factors or syndromes.

Source: Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Thyroid cancer typically doesn't cause any signs or symptoms early in the disease. As thyroid cancer grows, it may cause a lump that can be felt through the skin on the neck; changes to the voice, including increasing hoarseness; difficulty swallowing; pain in the neck and throat; and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

Source: the Mayo Clinic

Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver, and increases the risk of liver cancer. You can reduce your risk of cirrhosis if you drink alcohol in moderation, if at all; maintain a healthy weight; use caution with chemicals; get vaccinated against hepatitis C; and take measures to prevent hepatitis C.

Source: the Mayo Clinic

Scientists believe that some risk factors, such as the use of tobacco or alcohol, may cause esophageal cancer by damaging the DNA in cells that line the inside of the esophagus. Long-term irritation of the lining of the esophagus, as happens with reflux and other conditions, may also lead to DNA damage.

Avoiding tobacco and alcohol is one of the best ways of limiting your risk of esophageal cancer.

Source: the American Cancer Society

Bile duct cancer, which is rare, has symptoms similar to other bile duct issues, like gallstones, and include jaundice; itching all over; light-colored or greasy stool; dark urine; pain, especially below the ribs on the right side; loss of appetite or weight loss; fever; nausea; and vomiting.

Source: Harvard Health Publishing

Factors that may increase a man's risk of testicular cancer include an undescended testicle, abnormal testicle development, family history, age (particularly those between ages 15 and 35) and race (more common in white men than in black men).

Source: the Mayo Clinic

Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer may include fatigue; feeling bloated after eating; feeling full after eating small amounts of food; severe, persistent heartburn; severe indigestion that is always present; unexplained, persistent nausea; stomach pain; persistent vomiting; and unintentional weight loss.

Source: the Mayo Clinic

Thanks to better therapies, more than 80 percent of U.S. childhood cancer patients now become long-term survivors.

Source: St. Jude Children's Hospital

As of 2015, the cancer death rate for men and women combined had fallen 26% from its peak in 1991. This decline translates to nearly 2.4 million deaths averted during this time period.

Source: American Cancer Society

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