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

September 9, 2021

New Web Series Encourages Women to Speak Up About Gynecologic Health

It’s Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month—so let’s help women learn and talk about these cancers. Gynecologic cancers are cancers of a woman’s reproductive organs. The five main types are cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. When gynecologic cancers are found early, treatment works best. Here are a few tips:

  • Know what is normal for your body.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of gynecologic cancers.
  • Talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual.

CDC’s Inside Knowledge campaign has a new video series, “Under the Paper Gown,” about a woman’s journey to overcome being awkward with her gynecologist. The six-episode series features comedy host, Amber Ruffin, and her sister Lacey Lamar talking about common concerns women have and why it’s important to speak up. Check out the series and other videos for information about gynecologic cancer symptoms and early detection.

Prostate Cancer Awareness and Options for Men

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and this can help men understand their prostate health and the risk of prostate cancer. The risk for developing prostate cancer is higher for older men and for some men with a family history of prostate cancer. African American men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and don’t cause any health problems. Treatment may not be needed right away.

If you are concerned about your risk for prostate cancer, talk with your doctor about screening options and decide what it is right for you. Talk to Nathan is a great interactive tool that can answer your questions about prostate cancer and options for screening and treatment.

Safely Getting Back to Screening

It’s well known that the pandemic has affected many things in people’s daily lives. Getting routine checkups and cancer screenings are some of those things. The numbers from a recent studyexternal icon tell the story. In April 2020, cancer screenings done through CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program were down by 87% for breast cancer screening and 84% for cervical cancer screening, compared with the previous 5-year averages for that month.

Regular screening tests can check your body for cancer before you have symptoms. Screening also helps find cancer at an early stage when treatment works better. Learn about safely returning to screening for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancers, including a free or low-cost screening test through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Find out if you qualify.

Rhode Island Takes Extra Steps for Skin Cancer Prevention

Millions of Rhode Islanders and out-of-state visitors enjoy Rhode Island state parks and beaches each year. The Rhode Island Department of Health provides sunscreen dispensers to help people reduce their skin cancer risk. During 2019, sunscreen dispensers were installed at eight beaches and eight state parks. Visitors used the dispensers more than 75,000 times. In 2020, sunscreen pumps were converted to touch-free dispensers to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The dispensers provide a certified natural sunscreen that protects a person’s skin without harming marine life. The department of health hopes to bring the program to public parks in Rhode Island’s cities and towns.

STAR Athlete Shines a Light on Pediatric Cancer and Hope

Determined and strong are more than just words to CDC’s Mechelle Brown and her 13-year-old daughter Tyler. After finding a lump under her right arm, Tyler was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST). Current information about this rare cancer was hard to find. CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries and the Childhood Cancer STAR Project are helping to make childhood cancer data available for research faster. Mechelle and Tyler got opinions about treatment from several doctors and chose to amputate Tyler’s arm. Mechelle recalled, “I figured if the cancer was going to be aggressive, we were going to be equally as aggressive.” Now, cancer-free for almost two years, Tyler competed in her first Paralympic swim meet.

Research Spotlight

There are major differences in the way that electronic data reporting is put into practice and used by central cancer registries. Factors affecting the adoption of electronic data reporting and outcomes among selected central cancer registries of the National Program of Cancer Registriesexternal icon looks at key issues that can limit the ability of electronic reporting among registries. Findings from the study may help guide future processes of electronic reporting and identify best practices for staffing, software, and technology to strengthen registry operations.

Did You Know?

  • Two of the most common hereditary conditions that can raise your chances of getting cancer are hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome and Lynch syndrome.
  • Each year in the United States, about 15,000 children younger than 20 years old are diagnosed with cancer.

Previous Issue

August 12, 2021

State Cancer Registries Take a Closer Look at COVID-19 in Patients and Survivors

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic made it hard for patients with cancer to get the care they needed. Doctor’s offices and treatment centers were closed. Two state cancer registries adapted quickly to understand how the pandemic was affecting people with cancer. In Arkansas and North Carolina, registries matched data for people with cancer to data for people who tested positive for COVID-19. For both states, finding out how to serve cancer patients and survivors best is an immediate need. Their findings will help guide plans to address the needs of people with cancer during and after the pandemic.

Give Your Child A Head Start to Healthy

Healthy choices throughout life can help lower the risk of getting cancer. Parents can lead the way for their children. You can help your children get a head start on good health and lower their risk of cancer later in life. It all starts with healthy choices now.

Cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) often take years to develop. The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV infections that most commonly cause cancer. Getting your child vaccinated against HPV can help prevent six types of cancer.

Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. In 2020, about one-fourth of high school students said they use tobacco. Talk with your child about not smoking and explain that this can reduce their risk of future cancers. Get more information about healthy choices for your child that can help them grow into healthy adults.

Nevada Schools Turn to a Smart Approach for Skin Cancer Prevention

Outside activities such as sports and play time can increase the amount of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Damage from UV rays during childhood can cause skin cancer later in life. The Nevada Cancer Coalition started the Sun Smart Schools program to encourage sun safety policies and teach students how to protect their skin from too much exposure to the sun. Sun Smart Schools also focuses on access to sunscreen and shade on school grounds. Students received UV-activated bracelets, and free automated sunscreen dispensers were available to schools. The program started in seven schools in 2015 and has grown to 90 schools, reaching nearly 30,000 students.

Toolkit Aims to Help Reduce Disparities in Breast Cancer

Deaths from breast cancer have decreased over time, but Black women are dying at a higher rate than White women. Among Hispanic women, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. The Breast Cancer Disparities Online Toolkitexternal icon provides resources for identifying, measuring, and addressing inequities in preventable deaths from breast cancer among different groups of women. Information in the toolkit is structured in four phases: burden of the problem, data collection, quality improvement model, and implementation. Geographic information system (GIS) mapping techniques help to tell the story of unique challenges to reduce breast cancer disparities.

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) developed this resource with support and funding from CDC’s cancer division and consultation from state and regional breast cancer prevention leaders.

Research Spotlight

From Disruption to Recovery: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cancer Screening and Preventionexternal icon is a special issue of Preventive Medicine consisting of a series of 19 articles from domestic and international experts. The series looks at the impact of COVID-19 on screening for breast, cervical, colorectal and lung cancer. Cancer screening programs are major public health interventions that prevent or detect cancers early. Prolonged delays in screening may lead to delayed diagnoses and threaten to increase disparities in cancer outcomes among populations already experiencing health inequities.

Projecting the prevalence and costs of metastatic breast cancer from 2015 through 2030external icon studies metastatic breast cancer (mBC) cases and related medical costs nationally among three different age groups: younger (age 18 to 44), midlife (age 45 to 64) and older women (age 65 and older). The study estimates a 54.8% increase in the number of mBC cases by 2030. These findings can motivate early detection activities, direct high quality mBC treatment, and help measure the effect of prevention and treatment efforts.

Did You Know?

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 people who smoke cigarettes first try them by age 18. Each day in the U.S., about 1,600 youth smoke their first cigarette.
  • People who are exposed to smoke from other people’s cigarettes, pipes, or cigars at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer. When a person breathes in secondhand smoke, it’s like that person is smoking.
Page last reviewed: September 9, 2021