Cancer Prevention Works Newsletter

Cancer Prevention Works

The monthly Cancer Prevention Works newsletter provides the latest information about activities and accomplishments in CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control.

Current Issue

January 13, 2022

Cervical Cancer Prevention: Tools You Can Use

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month. It’s important for women to know that cervical cancer can be prevented. Screening and vaccination are tools that work to prevent cervical cancer and save lives. Getting screened regularly can help you prevent cervical cancer or find it early, when it’s easier to treat. Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes most cervical cancers. The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that often cause cervical cancer. Learn more about cervical cancer prevention.

Health checkups and screenings have decreased during the pandemic, but cancer doesn’t take a break. Talk to your health care provider about when to get screened safely. Let’s get back to screening!

CDC Launches New Health Equity in Cancer Website

The new Health Equity in Cancer website features CDC’s health equity work in cancer prevention and control. The site also focuses on disadvantages some groups of people face in preventing cancer. Health equity in cancer is when everyone has an equal opportunity to prevent cancer, find it early, and get good treatment and follow-up after treatment is completed.

CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is a champion for health equity. Its purpose is to support access to screening for people who are medically underserved and have low incomes.

Learn about Lung Cancer Risk for Radon Awareness Week, January 24–28

Radon causes around 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States every year and is the second leading cause of lung cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can get trapped in homes and buildings and build up to high levels. Over time, breathing in high radon levels can cause lung cancer. This risk is even higher for those who smoke cigarettes. The good news is that exposures to high levels of radon are preventable.

Radon Awareness Week raises awareness about the combined risk of smoking and radon. During the week, CDC will highlight five daily themes and share information on steps to reduce risk. You can help spread the word. Subscribe to the Radiation and Health newsletter.

Visit CDC’s cancer blog and read about Jackie Nixon’s experience as a lung cancer survivor who never smoked. Learn about North Carolina’s unique approach to educate people about radon testing with the help of real estate agents.

Ohio Gets Personal to Reach Women for Overdue Cervical Cancer Screening

Staff at the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project found that fewer women were being screened for cervical cancer than for breast cancer. This caused concern because more women are eligible for cervical cancer screening than for breast cancer screening. The staff worked to overcome challenges of getting women screened during the pandemic. They sent more than 900 letters and called women to explain the importance of cervical cancer screening. CDC’s cervical cancer fact sheet was included with the letters. Among 84 women being screened for cervical cancer, nine of them had abnormal results and were referred for more tests. Read the story.

New Data Brief on HPV-Associated Cancers

A new U.S. Cancer Statistics data brief looks at new cases of cancers associated with HPV (human papillomavirus). HPV-associated cancers are defined as those that occur in parts of the body where HPV is often found. Data from 2014 to 2018 show about 46,143 cancers associated with HPV occur in the United States each year: 25,719 among women, and 20,424 among men. The most common HPV-associated cancer among women is cervical cancer, and oropharyngeal cancers (cancers of the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) are the most common among men.

Bringing Communities Together for a National Day of Racial Healing

The National Day of Racial Healingexternal icon on January 18 is a time to think about our shared values and create a plan together for healing from the effects of racism. This is a chance to bring all people together in their common humanity and inspire action to create a more just and equitable world. You can find local events and action kits for focus areas such as educators, business leaders, health equity, and more.

Research Spotlight

During the past two decades, guidelines and recommendations for cervical cancer screening have changed. These changes are because of a better understanding of HPV infections and improvements in screening test technology. Trends in the use of cervical cancer screening tests in large medical claims database, United States, 2013–2019external icon looks at changes in the use of cervical cancer screening tests among insured women. The study focuses on recommended screening methods and time frames for cervical cancer screening.

Did You Know?

  • Smoking increases a woman’s risk of cervical cancer.
  • HPV causes more than 90% of cervical cancers.
  • There is no known safe level of radon and you should always aim to have the lowest level. The only way to know if you have unsafe levels of radon in your home or office is by testing.

Previous Issue

December 9, 2021

Holiday Season Tips to Protect Yourself from COVID-19

Are you getting together with family and friends this holiday season? It’s still important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections. Attending holiday events can increase the chance of being in close contact with people outside of your household. If you are receiving cancer treatments or have had cancer, take steps to protect yourself. People with cancer who are treated with chemotherapy are more likely to get an infection because of their weakened immune system. Learn about safer ways to celebrate the holidays.

Be a Winner in the Fight Against Flu

National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 5–11) raises awareness about preventing flu illness. CDC recommends a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Getting a flu shot every year is the best way to help protect against flu viruses. The flu vaccine is very important for people who are more likely to become seriously ill from the flu, such as cancer patients and survivors. Cancer and chemotherapy can damage the immune system and make it harder for the body to fight infections. Getting a flu shot is also important for family members or caregivers of cancer patients to prevent flu from spreading. If you haven’t had your flu shot yet, it’s not too late. Get your flu shot!

New Resource Answers Your Questions About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer that forms in the thin tissue that lines many of your internal organs. CDC’s new mesothelioma page shares the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and more. The most common kind of mesothelioma forms in the tissue around the lungs. Most cases of mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos, minerals that form long, thin, very strong fibers. Not everyone who is exposed to asbestos will get mesothelioma or other cancers. If you’re concerned, talk with your doctor about regular checkups or tests for asbestos-related diseases.

An Inner Voice and Family Health History: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Story

Some people call it an inner voice and others refer to it as a gut feeling. For cancer survivor Celeste Smalls-Sumpter, it was the beginning of her lifesaving journey with cancer. After listening to her inner voice, Celeste found a lump in her breast. She was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer at 29 years old. Knowing her family history of breast cancer among her late mother, sister, and late grandmother, Celeste took action to get the care she needed. She also had genetic testing for the BRCA gene mutation, which raises a person’s risk for certain cancers. Throughout her journey, Celeste played an active role in her health. “Don’t just take what the doctors say if it doesn’t sit well in your spirit! Listen to your inner voice, whatever you may call it,” says Celeste.

New Data Brief on Cancer in American Indian and Alaska Native People

Screening tests can find colorectal, lung, female breast, and cervical cancers early. They make up 39% of the cancers that affect non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native people. A new U.S. Cancer Statistics (USCS) data brief looks at new cases of these cancers among American Indian and Alaska Native people in six geographic regions. Between 2014 and 2018, lung cancer and female breast cancer were the most common cancers. Colorectal cancer rates were highest in Alaska.

Research Spotlight

Gynecologic oncologist impact on adjuvant chemotherapy care for stage II–IV ovarian cancer patientsexternal icon examines the cancer care and outcomes, including chemotherapy and surgery, for ovarian cancer patients in rural and urban areas. The study focuses on the benefits and barriers of having a gynecologic oncologist involved in chemotherapy care.

Did You Know?

  • An infection can become a life-threatening emergency for people with cancer who are treated with chemotherapy. Fever, a temperature of 100.4⁰F (38⁰C) or higher, is a sign of infection. Call your doctor right away.
  • All alcoholic drinks, including red and white wine, beer, and liquor, can raise the risk of getting cancer. The less alcohol you drink, the lower your risk for cancer.
Page last reviewed: November 10, 2021