Oncology Knowledge Center

Cancer Types

Colon Cancer

Increased Risk: Men and women at increased risk if:

  • Personal history of colon polyps (adenomas)
  • Personal history of colorectal cancer
  • Family history of colorectal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)

Screen with: Start at 50 or earlier if high risk, using either Colonoscopy every 10 years, or Virtual Colonoscopy every 5 years, or Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years or stool testing for blood once a year.

Prevent with: A high fiber diet may have some protective role.

 


Breast Cancer

Increased Risk: Women at increased risk if:

  • Early menarche and late menopause.
  • Use of post-menopausal hormonal therapy.
  • Obesity
  • Having no children

Screen with: Starting at 50 or earlier if high risk, using mammogram on a yearly basis.

Prevent with: Breastfeeding, healthy diet, exercise and avoiding hormone pills all can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

 


Prostate Cancer

Increased Risk: Men at increased risk if:

  • Over the age of 50
  • Family history of prostate cancer
  • Inherited mutations BRAC1 or BRAC2
  • Lynch Syndrome

Screen with: PSA blood test every year, unless life expectancy is less than 10 years.

  • If you are NOT African American and have no family history of prostate cancer, then start screening at age 50.
  • If you ARE African American or have a family history (especially father, brother, son) of prostate cancer, then start screening at age 45.

Prevent with: No definitive data exist.

 


Lung Cancer

Increased Risk: Men and women at increased risk if:

  • You are 55-74 years of age
  • You are current smokers, or former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years
  • You have a smoking history of 30 packs/year or greater

Screen with: Low dose CT scan of the chest is now the recommended test for screening high-risk indviduals.

Prevent with: Stop smoking, including exposure to second hand smoke.

 


Cervical Cancer

Increased Risk: Women at increased risk if:

  • History of cervical cancer or severe cervical dysplasia (pre-cancer)
  • Persistent Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection after age 30 (HPV testing not recommended in women younger than age 30)
  • Been infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure before birth
  • Prolonged use of birth control pills.
  • Multiple sexual partners

Screen with: Pap smear starting at the age of 21 or when sexually active and yearly gynecology visits.

Prevent with: HPV vaccine and safe sex practices.

 


*Disclaimer – The information provided here is to help improve your general knowledge only. Some of the recommendations here may not apply to your unique situation. Please ask your physician for detailed information on your condition.

Cancer Myths

Cancer Myths Busted

There is a lot of misleading information out there. Below, we set the record straight on common myths about cancer prevention and risk factors.


 

MYTH

DARK-SKINNED PEOPLE DON’T GET SKIN CANCER.

 

REALITY
Darker-skinned people — including African Americans, Asians and Hispanics — can and do get skin cancer including Melanoma.


 

MYTH

THERE’S NO POINT IN QUITTING SMOKING. THE DAMAGE IS DONE.

 

REALITY
No matter how long you’ve been smoking, you still can reap significant health benefits by quitting. According to the National Cancer Institute, people who stop smoking before age 50 cut their risk of dying early from smoking related causes by 50%.


 

MYTH

ONLY WOMEN GET BREAST CANCER.

 

REALITY
About 1% of breast cancer cases occur in men, says the National Cancer Institute. And, due to a lack of awareness about male breast cancer, it’s often found at later stages, when the disease is harder to treat.


 

MYTH

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS PREVENT CANCER.

 

REALITY
Reality: Nutritional supplements don’t reduce a person’s chances of developing cancer. A well-blanced, nutritional diet may help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.


 

MYTH

SUGAR FEEDS CANCER.

 

REALITY
Cancer cells need nutrition like any other body cell, but it doesn’t mean that feeding body with sugar/calories would accelerate the growth of cancer.


 

MYTH

CANCER MAY SPREAD FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER IF THEY SHARE SAME UTENSILS, CLOTHING ETC.

 

REALITY
Cancer cells cannot be transferred to another individual with either casual or intimate contact.


 

Fight Cancer Naturally

Cancer is not inevitable! Here are some things you can do to decrease your risk of getting cancer.

 


 

Eat Healthy

In clinical studies, many minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals demonstrate anti-cancer effects. Yet evidence suggests it is the synergy of compounds working together in the overall diet that offers the strongest cancer protection. Therefore the best advice is to eat a balanced diet with all fruits and vegetables.

 


Exercise Regularly

There is convincing evidence that physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of cancers.

 


Quit Smoking

Smoking greatly increases the risk for lung, oral cavity, pharyngeal and upper esophageal cancers. Smoke is harmful in all forms and shape, including dipping and second hand smoke. At the present time, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and water pipes are all considered to have the same carcinogenic chemicals. Therefore, they are not recommended to be a safe alternative to traditional smoking.

 


Limit Exposure to Sun & Tanning Beds

Those who use sunbeds before age 30 increase their lifetime risk of Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 75 percent. The risk of squamous cell cancer is also increased by 2.5 times. We recommend that you avoid tanning. Limit long exposure to the sun and sear sun screen, protective clothing, and eye protection while outdoors, even on a cloudy day.


Breast Feeding

Breast feeding is highly beneficial for your baby, and studies indicate that breast feeding may also help lesson the risk of breast cancer later in life.

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer – The information provided here is to help improve your general knowledge only. Some of the recommendations here may not apply to your unique situation. Please ask your physician for detailed information on your condition.

 

 

Financial Assistance

Cancer treatments can be very expensive and can be a huge burden on your pocket. If your insurance does not cover your bills, then please ask our cancer care team members for help. We are your advocates and are committed to helping you. Our goal is to advocate for our patients to maximize insurance coverage and lessen the finance burden.

Here are a few patient assistance links to explore what fits your unique situation.

www.Merk.com

https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/financial-considerations

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/managing-care/track-care-costs