• Cancer Risks & Prevention

  • Cancer can be discovered early through periodic check-ups and screening procedures. 

    The American Cancer Society estimates that more than half of all cancer diagnoses and deaths could be prevented if people adopted cancer prevention measures, including receiving routine check-ups, living a healthy lifestyle and having an awareness of the early signs of cancer. 

    Why does cancer happen?

    Cancer starts when your cells in a specific organ or place start to grow out of control. Cancer cells crowd out normal cells and makes it hard for your body to work like it should. The start of cancer is not limited to one part of your body and it can start anywhere – lungs, breast, colon and blood.

    What are my risk factors for cancer?

    About one half all men and one third of all women will develop cancer in their lifetime. While there are guidelines for risk factors, cancer doesn’t always follow a pattern. Some risk factors you can’t avoid:

    • Getting older. 78 percent of all cancers are diagnosed in people over the age of 55
    • Inherited genes. Genetics account for about 5 -10 percent of breast cancer, however having an inherited gene does not mean a cancer will occur, but rather there is an increased risk. 

    Some lifestyle risks that you can control:

    • Tobacco use accounts for about 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States, including about 80 percent of all lung cancer deaths.
    • Poor diet, not being active and excessive body weight are all key factors that increase the risk of cancer.
    • Alcohol use clearly raises the risk of mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus, liver, colon, rectal and breast cancer.
    • Sun and UV exposure are attributed to skin cancer – the most common cancer.
    • Carcinogens (cancer causing agents) are environmental causes of cancer that can be at your work, in your home, part of some medical testing and in the air you breathe.

    The risk of developing most types of cancer can be reduced by changing your lifestyle. But having a risk factor, or even many, does not mean that you are sure to get the disease.

    What can I do to help prevent cancer?

    Today you can take charge of your healthy lifestyle plan by following these strategies for success:

    • Maintain a Healthy Weight.
    • STOP Smoking and limit your exposure to secondhand smoke.
    • Aim for 2 ½ hours of physical activity every week.
    • Limit Alcohol Use to no more than two drinks per day for men and one for women.
    • Protect Your Skin by seeking shade, applying sunscreen and wearing protective clothing, hat and sunglasses.
    • Consider a Vitamin D supplement. Consult your healthcare provider to determine if you would benefit by this.
    • Be aware of your environment and avoid exposure to chemicals at work, at home and in public.

    Why is it important to find cancer early?

    At Avista, our cancer care team knows that screening tests can save thousands of lives each year. Screening tests can help you find cancer in its early stages, even before any symptoms appear which makes it easier to treat and results in better outcomes.

  • Questions & Scheduling

    Centura Health Physician Group Medical Oncology – Avista
    80 Health Park Dr., Suite 270
    Louisville, CO 80027
    Phone: 303-661-1860

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