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Health Myths: Get the Facts

Cancer continued...

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.

Lung Cancer

  • 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 cancer-causing agent.
  • 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.

Skin Cancer

  • 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 damage.
  • 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.


Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening: Free or Low-Cost Mammogram and Pap Test Contacts

Cancer Prevention and Control

Cervical Cancer Screening

Colorectal Cancer: Basic Facts on Screening

WebMD Public Information from the CDC

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