Cancer Control Month

We all have been affected by cancer in one form or another. Either you, a friend, or a family member may have had it at one time or another. One of our specialties at Visiting Angels NJ is to care for the personal and in-home care needs of cancer sufferers within our extended “family.” We’re eager to increase awareness of Cancer Control Month, which stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as promoting cancer screening in order to prevent this devastating illness.

FACTS ABOUT CANCER

  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States (heart disease is the first)
  • About 50% of  men and 33% of women will get cancer in the US
  • Cancer deaths and rates have been declining since the early 1990s
  • Being overweight, having poor nutrition or lacking in physical activity can be related to approximately 33% of cancers.

RISK FACTORS

  • Age: over 75% of cancers are in people 55+
  • Tobacco Use
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Heavy Drinking
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Exposure to Cancer Causing Agents at Work
  • Prolonged, Unprotected Exposure to Sunlight

GUIDELINES FOR EARLY CANCER DETECTION

BREAST CANCER (WOMEN):

  • Yearly mammograms starting at age 40
  • Clinical breast exams every 3 years up to 30s and yearly after age 40

COLORECTAL CANCER AND POLYPS (men & women 50+):

Tests that find polyps and cancer:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years, or
  • Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years, or
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years

Tests that primarily find cancer:

  • Yearly fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), or
  • Yearly fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year, or
  • Stool DNA test (sDNA)

CERVICAL CANCER (women):

  • Screen every year (starting after first vaginal intercourse or age 21) with regular Pap test or every 2–3 years with liquid-based Pap test
  • Beginning at age 30, women who have had 3 normal Pap test results in a row: screen every 2 to 3 years. Age 30+: if normal, screen every 3 years with Pap test, plus the human papilloma virus (HPV) test
  • Age 70+: if no abnormal Pap test results in the last 10 years can stop having Pap tests

FOR MORE INFORMATION

  • Resource & Learning Center, 732-235-9639, www.cinj.org/rlc
  • National Cancer Institute, 1-800-4-CANCER, www.cancer.gov
  • NJ Cancer Trial Connect, 1-866-788-3929, www.njctc.org
  • American Cancer Society, 1-800-ACS-234,5 www.cancer.org
  • American Institute for Cancer Research, 1-800-843-8114, www.aicr.org

For more great information, download our Cancer Control Month bulletin.