More than 50% of all cancer cases could be prevented according to Cancer Care Ontario and the Canadian Cancer Society. Here are some tips to help reduce your cancer risk:
- Enjoy five to10 servings of vegetables and fruits each day
- Take part in 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week
- Work towards or maintain a healthy body weight
- Be smoke-free and avoid second hand smoke
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher
- Discuss any family history of cancer with your healthcare provider. You may benefit from starting cancer screening earlier.
- Ask your healthcare provider about receiving a vaccine that protects against two of many HPV types that cause most cervical cancer.
Screening tests can find cancer early, before symptoms appear. When found early there are more treatment options and a better chance of survival.
All men and women age 50 and older should have a Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) every 2 years. Those with an increased risk because of having one or more first-degree family members (e.g., parent, sibling, or child) with colorectal cancer should have a colonoscopy.
Pap Test Guidelines Have Changed! Cervical Screening (a Pap test) should start at 21 years of age for women who are, or who have ever been sexually active. Women who are not sexually active by 21, should wait until they are sexually active to have a Pap test. Sexually active can mean sexual intercourse, fingering or oral sexual contact with the genital area by a male or female partner. Cervical Screening is recommended every three years for all women unless they have an abnormal Pap test or are immunocompromised.
All women should know how their breasts normally look and feel. If there are changes, see a health care provider right away. Women 50 and older should have a mammogram every 2 years.
Discuss these tests and your family history with your health care provider. You may need to be screened earlier or tested more often.