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Women's Health

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Health Myths: Get the Facts

Cancer continued...

Cervical Cancer

  • Cervical cancer can usually be prevented if women are screened regularly at least every three years with a test called the Pap test. The Pap test can find abnormal cells in the cervix. These cells may, over time, turn into cancer, and could take many years to happen. If the results of a Pap test show there are abnormal cells that could become cancerous, a woman can be treated. In most cases, this treatment prevents cervical cancer from developing.
     
  • Pap tests can also find cervical cancer early. When it is found early, the chance of being cured is very high. When it is found early and treated, cervical cancer is highly curable. The most important thing you can do to avoid getting cervical cancer is to have regular Pap tests.
     
  • Abnormal cells in the cervix and cervical cancer don't always cause symptoms, especially at first. That's why getting tested for cervical cancer is important, even if there are no symptoms.
     
  • Community efforts to increase access to and use of cancer screening can lead to greater cancer screening in your community.

Colorectal Cancer

  • If you're 50 or older, getting a screening test for colorectal cancer could save your life.
     
  • Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn't be there. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer.
     
  • Screening tests can find polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early. When it is found early, the chance of being cured is good.
     
  • Researchers estimate that a fourth to a third of colorectal cancer may be due to physical inactivity and overweight/obesity.*
     
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Limiting weight gain during childhood and adulthood is likely to reduce risk of colorectal cancer and losing weight if overweight may reduce risk.
     
  • Regular physical activity is likely to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
     
  • Community efforts to increase physical activity, such as school-based physical education programs and creation of walking trails, can contribute to increased activity in your community. Community efforts to increase access to and use of cancer screening can lead to greater cancer screening in your community.

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