Cancer Awareness - October 2023


Cancer research is constantly advancing and evolving. It is unknown why some people develop cancer and others don’t, but we are getting closer to the answer every day. Thanks to their hard work, scientists and doctors have been able to pin down multiple risk factors that may increase your likeliness of getting cancer.

Please remember that having a risk factor does not mean you will develop cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer. And others with no known risk factors do.

Some of the most common risk factors for cancer include:

  • Aging
  • A personal or family history of cancer
  • Using tobacco
  • Carrying too much weight, known as being overweight or obese
  • Alcohol use
  • Some types of viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and the hepatitis virus
  • Exposure to specific chemicals
  • Exposure to radiation, including ultraviolet radiation from the sun

Early Detection and Screenings

Cancer Screening tests are the most effective way to catch cancer before it takes a toll on your body. Several screening tests have become so efficient at detecting the most common types of cancer they are now conducted on a regular basis to the most affected groups.

Common Screenings

  • Breast Cancer: Expert groups generally recommend screenings at age 50 for women at average risk
  • Cervical cancer: Expert groups generally recommend that testing begin at age 21 and end at age 65 (for women who have had adequate prior screening and are not otherwise at high risk for cervical cancer).
  • Colorectal cancer:Expert groups generally recommend that people at average risk for colorectal cancer have screening with one of these tests at ages 45 or 50 through 75.
  • Lung cancer: Expert groups generally recommend screening some current or former heavy smokers at ages 50 to 80.

For more information on what cancer is, how to prevent it, and more, please visit the National Cancer Institute.