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Ten Important Facts To Know About Cancer

1. Don't use tobacco. If you do, quit. This is the single most important thing you can do to prevent cancer.

2. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetables may lower your risk for some kinds of cancer.

3. If you are a woman, age 50 or older, get a mammogram every one to two years.

4. There is no upper age limit for the Pap test. Even women who have gone through menopause should have regular checkups, including a pelvic exam and a Pap test.

5. Cancers of the colon and rectum are more likely to occur as people get older. Three tests can help find these cancers early: rectal exam, guaiac stool test, and sigmoidoscopy. Ask your doctor how often you should have these tests.

6. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, especially older men. Discuss with your doctor early detection tests and their benefits and drawbacks.

7. Avoid too much sunlight; wear protective clothing; use sunscreen.

8. Avoid unnecessary x-rays.

9. If you do have cancer, find out what your treatment choices are and which are best for you. And before getting treatment, get a second opinion from another doctor.

10 For more information about what you can do about cancer, call the National Cancer Institute's toll-free Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

To ensure that you have the most up to date information, please call the Cancer Information Service (CIS). The CIS, a program of the National Cancer Institute, is a nationwide telephone service for cancer patients and their families, the public, and health care professionals. CIS information specialists have extensive training in providing up-to-date and understandable information about cancer. They can answer questions in English and Spanish and can send free printed material. In addition, CIS offices serve specific geographic areas and have information about cancer-related services and resources in their region. The toll-free number of the CIS is 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
Information provided by NIH (2001).