Cancer and Women

Under the Paper Gown

In this video, Amber Ruffin gets ready for her gynecologist appointment by making a list of questions to ask the doctor.

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.

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.

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