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.

Latest Issue

July 9, 2020

News to Know About COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect many areas of the country. Summer, a popular time for travel, may be different than what you planned because of risks related to COVID-19. Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19.

If you plan to travel, there are ways to protect yourself and others during your trip. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Keep a safe distance and wear a cloth face covering in public to lower your risk of getting sick and help slow the spread of COVID-19. Learn more about travel considerations and COVID-19.

Health Checkups and Cancer Screenings During a Pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the way we work, connect with family and friends, and shop for essentials is different. Getting wellness checkups and cancer screenings is also different, but still important.

Dr. Lisa Richardson, Director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, shares a new blog about her experience of getting a routine checkup and cancer screening during this pandemic. “Although I knew that going to see my health care provider would be different from normal, it was the best decision for me to go and take care of myself,” says Dr. Richardson.

Talking with your doctor about your health is an important first step to help you decide what’s best for you when it’s time for routine checkups and cancer screenings.

Tips for a Healthy Summer and Reducing Your Cancer Risk

Summer is known for sunshine and outdoor activities. As you find ways to enjoy the summer, you can stay healthy and lower your risk of cancer. Protecting your skin is a good place to start. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in just 15 minutes. One way to help lower your risk of skin cancer is to use broad spectrum sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher before you go outside for any activity.

Activities such as hiking, riding a bike, and going to the park are good ways to include physical activity into your summer plans. Regular physical activity can help you get to and keep a healthy weight and lower the risk of many types of cancer. A balanced healthy eating plan can also help you manage your weight. Include fruits and vegetables with your favorite summertime outdoor meals to make healthy eating easier for you.

Creative Approaches Help Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening

Communities across the country are finding ways to get more people screened for colorectal cancer, a leading cause of cancer death. CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) works with state, university, and tribal health systems to increase screening among people ages 50 to 75. The CRCCP helps program awardees put screening strategies in action to reach communities most affected and in need. Many program awardees have found a variety of innovative ways to increase colorectal cancer screening rates in their communities.

Florida and Kentucky used patient navigation to help patients understand the health care system and overcome barriers. Maryland, South Carolina, Alabama, and New Hampshire were able to improve screening uptake by reminding providers when patients were due for screenings. Learn more about community efforts to increase colorectal cancer screening.

Research Spotlight

Costs and Resources Used by Population-based Cancer Registries in the US-Affiliated Pacific Islandsexternal icon studies the costs and factors affecting the operations and efficiency of population-based cancer registries in the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands. This study provides activity-based cost data that can help guide cancer control initiatives and improve registry operations.

Cancer-related mortality in the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands, 2008–2013external icon is the first report of cancer-related deaths in the USAPI using cancer registry data. These data can help bring focus to risk factor reduction and early detection to reduce cancer-related deaths and improve quality of life after a cancer diagnosis.

Did You Know?

  • Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the United States. A history of sunburns, especially early in life, can raise a person’s risk of getting skin cancer.
  • Death rates of four common cancers (lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal) decreased from 1999 to 2018.

Previous Issue

June 11, 2020

Explore the Latest Cancer Data

Overall, about two-thirds of people in the United States who are diagnosed with cancer are still alive five years later. This is one of many statistics you can find in the updated Data Visualizations tool, an easy way to explore new U.S. Cancer Statistics data. U.S. Cancer Statistics are the official federal cancer statistics, providing information on the entire U.S. population.

These data can be used to find out what groups are affected most by cancer, measure progress in prevention efforts, and target actions to help improve cancer outcomes for all. They combine cancer registry data from CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.

  • The Data Visualizations tool is an easy way to explore the data through interactive graphics and descriptive text. It includes incidence, mortality, survival, prevalence data and more.
  • The public use database for researchers includes cancer incidence data for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This year, a rural-urban county variable has been added. It includes more than 28 million cases diagnosed during 17 years (2001 to 2017).

News to Know About COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Wearing a cloth face covering correctly can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others, including people with cancer or a history of cancer. When you go out on essential trips, wear a cloth face covering that fits snugly and reaches above your nose, below your chin, and completely covers your mouth and nostrils.

Empowering Journeys Beyond Cancer

Getting through and beyond cancer is different for each person. June is Cancer Survivor’s Month, a time to honor and support people dealing with cancer now or in the past.

Cancer Survivor’s Month is also a time to learn about the challenges cancer survivors face. This new blog post shares tips to help survivors cope with stress, get regular physical activity, and reach out for support. It’s also important to learn how to stay healthy and lower the chance of getting cancer again.

While each person’s experience with cancer has challenges, many people who survive cancer share common views on hope, motivation, and a new approach to life after cancer. On our Cancer Survivor Stories page, people across the country share their journeys beyond cancer with words of wisdom to inform and inspire others.

Healthy Ways to Help Men Lower Cancer Risk

National Men’s Health Week (June 15–21) raises awareness of health issues that affect men and encourages them to take better care of their health. Chronic diseases, including cancer, are some of the leading health issues that affect men.

Some of the most important things you can do for better health include staying away from tobacco, limiting alcohol, keeping a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity. These actions are good for your overall health and can help lower your chance of getting cancer.

Find ways to make healthy choices a part of your daily life. CDC’s resources for quitting smoking and physical activity tips can help you get started. Learn more about cancer and men.

Prevention, Not Just Treatment for Breast Cancer

“In some ways, the chance of getting breast cancer is like a game of bingo, with each of the many things that contribute to breast cancer, so-called risk factors, a square with a number on the card,” says CDC’s Dr. Mary White in this new blog post.

Many factors and different life experiences can contribute to a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer. Research shows that a combination of genes, environmental exposures, and behaviors over many years contributes to most breast cancers.

Dr. White highlights the California Breast Cancer Primary Prevention Plan, a first-of-its-kind plan with a new approach to tackle breast cancer as a disease to be prevented, not just found and treated.

Research Spotlight

Did You Know?

  • Cancer death rates dropped 26% over 20 years, between 1999 and 2018.
  • Lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death, has shown a 37% decrease in death rates from 1999 to 2018.