Health Myths: Get the Facts
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Avoiding tobacco use is the single most important step Americans can take
to reduce the cancer burden in this country.
- Secondhand smoke is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer and
coronary heart disease in nonsmoking adults. Secondhand smoke is a known
- Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits, reducing
risks for diseases caused by smoking and improving health in general.
- Community efforts to limit smoking, such as indoor smoking policies and
cigarette taxes, can help reduce smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays appears to be the most important
environmental factor involved in the development of skin cancer. When used
consistently, sun-protective practices can prevent skin cancer.
- Although anyone can develop skin cancer, some people are at particular
risk, including those with light skin color, hair color, or eye color; family
history of skin cancer; personal history of skin cancer; chronic exposure to
the sun; history of sunburns early in life; certain types of moles or a large
number of moles; and freckles, which indicate sun sensitivity and sun
- Protect your skin from the sun, by choosing five sun protection options:
seek shade, cover up, get a hat, wear sunglasses, and rub on sunscreen.
Cervical Cancer Screening: Free or Low-Cost Mammogram and Pap Test
Cancer Prevention and Control
Cancer: Basic Facts on Screening