Can­cer Screen­ing

Wellness Update - - Meet Our Doctors -

Breast can­cer deaths have been de­creas­ing since 1990, with breast can­cer screen­ing play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role. Un­for­tu­nately, the per­cent­age of women who report that they have had a mam­mo­gram in the past 2 years has lev­eled off, re­main­ing at the same level since 2000. If we can in­crease the num­ber of women who have mam­mo­grams, more women will be di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer at an ear­lier stage, which dra­mat­i­cally in­creases their chances of sur­viv­ing can­cer. Although col­orec­tal can­cer screen­ing not only re­sults in ear­lier de­tec­tion, but also can ac­tu­ally pre­vent can­cer from de­vel­op­ing, less than half of Amer­i­cans age 50 and older are cur­rent for col­orec­tal can­cer screen­ing.

The Pres­i­dent’s Can­cer Panel

“In the . . . im­me­di­ate term, the prin­ci­pal causes of lung and numer­ous other can­cers are amenable to change through be­hav­ioral and pol­icy/en­vi­ron­men­tal in­ter­ven­tions, which of­fer the best chance of sub­stan­tially re­duc­ing the can­cer bur­den.” The Pres­i­dent’s Can­cer Panel re­cently re­leased a report that sum­ma­rized the find­ings of four meet­ings con­vened be­tween Septem­ber 26, 2006, and Fe­bru­ary 27, 2007, to dis­cuss be­hav­iors that af­fect can­cer risk.8 Th­ese meet­ings ex­am­ined the ev­i­dence re­gard­ing the ef­fects of diet, nutri­tion, phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, to­bacco use, and to­bacco smoke ex­po­sure on can­cer risk. The meet­ings also dis­cussed ac­tions – on­go­ing and po­ten­tial – that could re­duce the bur­den of can­cer by pro­mot­ing health­ier life­styles. The panel’s report com­mented that most of the fed­er­ally spon­sored can­cer preven­tion re­search em­pha­sizes ge­netic and other bi­o­logic fac­tors, but the work needs to be ac­com­pa­nied by re­search that ad­dresses the im­por­tance of phys­i­cal, so­cial, and cul­tural con­texts in which food choices, phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, and to­bacco use oc­cur. The over­all mes­sage from the re­search is: “Get­ting up off the couch or that chair can add years to your life”. -This in­for­ma­tion pro­vided courtesy of the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety

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