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

November 12, 2020

Lung Cancer Awareness: You Can Lower Your Risk

Each year, about 221,000 people in the United States are told they have lung cancer and about 146,000 people die from it. Lung cancer continues to affect many of our communities, but there is progress. After increasing for decades, lung cancer incidence and death rates are decreasing nationally, as fewer people smoke cigarettes. Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer, but nonsmokers are also at risk for lung cancer. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. You can take steps to lower your risk of lung cancer, learn about lung cancer screening, and support survivors and those living with this disease.

Some of the ways you can lower your risk of lung cancer include not smoking (or quitting), staying away from secondhand smoke, and testing your home for radon, a natural gas from the ground that can get trapped in houses. Lung cancer screening is recommended for adults who have no symptoms but are at high risk. Finding lung cancer early and getting treatment may help save lives. Talk with your doctor about your lung cancer risks and find out if screening is right for you.

New Data Brief on Cancer Among American Indian and Alaska Native Populations in Urban Areas

Cancer can affect some people in different areas more than others. A new U.S. Cancer Statistics data brief looks at cancer incidence (new cases) among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations in Urban Indian Health Organization Service Areas. From 2008 to 2017, cancer incidence rates among urban AI/AN populations were different across geographic regions. In certain regions, such as Alaska and the Southern Plains, rates of new cancer cases are higher in urban AI/AN compared with non-Hispanic White populations.

Colorectal cancer incidence rates were higher for urban AI/AN men and women compared with urban Non-Hispanic White populations in regions including the United States, Alaska, and the Southern Plains. Lung cancer incidence rates among urban AI/AN men were significantly higher compared with urban Non-Hispanic White populations in Alaska, Northern Plains, and Southern Plains regions.

Health Tips for Caregivers Who Support Cancer Patients

Caregivers are an important part of a cancer patient’s care team. If you are caring for a cancer patient, your role may change during treatment and after. You may have to provide emotional support, take your loved one to doctor’s appointments, help with daily tasks, and more. Some helpful things you can do as a caregiver include keeping track of possible side effects from treatment and practicing good health habits to protect your loved one from an infection. While caring for your loved one, it’s important to help them with healthy choices such as staying active and getting enough sleep to help support mental and physical health.

For caregivers, taking care of themselves while taking care of their loved one can be difficult. “I am now learning that you can’t do anything to save anyone else if you don’t first save yourself. As I once told my mom when she was still trying to be all things to all people while battling cancer, even superwoman has to take her cape off and recharge from time to time,” says CDC’s Kimberly Smith in a new blog post that shares her experience as a caregiver and tips for self-care. CDC’s tips for staying healthy can help caregivers take care of their health and the health of their loved one.

In the Spotlight: CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program

Colorectal cancer screening prevents cancer and saves lives. Screening can find polyps (abnormal growths in the rectum and colon) so they can be removed before developing into cancer. CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) works with health systems and other health care organizations to use and strengthen strategies that can increase colorectal cancer screening for people most in need. The CRCCP includes award recipients consisting of states, universities, tribal organizations, and other health agencies. Award recipients partner with health systems to put targeted activities into practice, and collect data to measure the impact.

The latest Spotlight on Year 4 for CRCCP shows progress and success. Over four years, CRCCP award recipients worked with 831 clinics from 261 health systems that served more than 1.3 million patients. Colorectal cancer screening test use increased from year 1 (4.5 percentage points) to year 4 (12.3 percentage points) among clinics participating in CRCCP.

Research Spotlight

Incidence and Trends of the Leading Cancers with Elevated Incidence Among American Indian and Alaska Native Populations, 2012–2016external icon identifies cancers with high incidence (new cases) among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations compared to non-Hispanic white populations by region and evaluates the long-term trends of these cancers. The cancers with elevated incidence rates were liver, stomach, kidney, lung and colorectal cancers for both men and women, myeloma for men only, and cervical cancer for women. Culturally-informed efforts to support healthy behaviors may reduce cancer incidence among AI/AN populations.

Prostate Cancer Incidence and Survival by Stage and Race/Ethnicity, United States, 2001–2017 explores prostate cancer cases and shows that although the overall rates are decreasing in the US, the proportion of men diagnosed with distant stage prostate cancer increased from 4% in 2003 to 8% in 2017. Understanding the changes in cases of distant stage prostate cancer and the differences in survival by age, race/ethnicity, and stage can guide planning for screening, treatment, and survivor care.

Did You Know?

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most common cancer among both men and women in the United States.
  • People who smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day or smoking occasionally increases the risk of lung cancer.

Previous Issue

October 19, 2020

New Study and Resources Bring Awareness to Breast Cancer in Men

Although it’s rare, men can get breast cancer too. In the United States, about 2,300 new cases of breast cancer and 500 deaths among men were reported in 2017. A new article in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) looks at breast cancer survival differences in men by factors such as race/ethnicity, age, diagnosis stage, and geographic region. Among men diagnosed with breast cancer during 2007 to 2016, the one-year survival rate was 96% and the five-year survival rate was 85%. Survival rates for non-Hispanic Black men were the lowest compared to rates for non-Hispanic White men and Hispanic men.

More studies and resources can help increase awareness of breast cancer in men and support those at high risk. A new U.S. Cancer Statistics data brief on male breast cancer shows that from 2013 to 2017, men aged 60 to 69 had the highest percentage of breast cancer cases and deaths. Our Breast Cancer Among Men blog answers important questions about the risks for this cancer and shares the latest research. A new breast cancer resource for men provides information to help men learn about male breast cancer symptoms and ways to reduce risk.

Building Breast Cancer Awareness through Education and Early Detection

Breast cancer affects many of us in some way—from relatives to friends, neighbors, coworkers, or personally. Each year in the United States, about 250,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women, and about 42,000 women die from it. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an important effort to increase attention to early detection and treatment, educate women about the risk factors, and strengthen support for survivors of this disease. Many factors can affect a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer including age, having dense breasts, and changes to BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

Getting regular physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol can help women lower the risk of breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about your risks and breast cancer screening options that are right for you. Breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, but it can help find it early, when it is easier to treat. Start your health journey with breast cancer resources to help educate and empower you to make the best decisions about screening.

CDC Celebrates 30 Years of Improving Access to Cancer Screening Services

For 30 years, the work of CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) has focused on improving access to cancer screening services. NBCCEDP helps low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women gain access to timely breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic, and treatment services. Cancer screening efforts include NBCCEDP award recipients in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 6 U.S. territories, and 13 American Indian/Alaska Native tribes or tribal organizations.

Award recipients are sharing how their creative approaches such as flexible hours and locations, free rides to services, and health fairs have led to increases in cancer screening for communities nationwide.

What You Need to Know About Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal (colon) cancer is the second leading cancer killer among cancers that affect men and women in the United States. It doesn’t have to be this way and you can take steps to change it. Almost all colorectal cancers begin as abnormal growths in the colon or rectum and can be present in the colon for years (without symptoms) before cancer develops. Colorectal cancer screening is the most effective way to reduce your risk because it can find abnormal growths so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening can also find cancer early, when treatment works best.

Find out the five important things you need to know to help you understand your colorectal cancer risk and screening options.

Research Spotlight

Interventions to increase breast and cervical cancer screening uptake among rural womenexternal icon looks at the low rates of breast and cervical cancer screening in rural communities, and interventions to help remove barriers to health care and address the unique needs of rural women.

Treatment cost and access to care: experiences of young women diagnosed with breast cancerexternal icon examines how cost affects breast cancer care among female breast cancer patients diagnosed between 18 and 39 years old.

Implementing evidence-based interventions to increase colorectal cancer screening uptake in federally qualified health centersexternal icon includes five manuscripts (one article and four research briefs) that look at interventions to Improve colorectal cancer screening across health systems in Chicago (Illinois), California, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Did You Know?

  • In 2017, about 9% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States were found in women younger than 45 years of age.
  • One of several risk factors for breast cancer is dense breasts, and the density of a woman’s breasts can change over time. Dense breast tissue may make it harder to identify a tumor on a mammogram.
Page last reviewed: November 12, 2020