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Cancer: Diagnosing and Preventing

Know the risks - early detection is important

Cancer can be scary. The disease is linked to genetics, the environment, your age, and pure chance. But since most cancers show no symptoms, regular screenings are highly encouraged. These screenings increase your likelihood of catching cancer early when it's easier to treat and cure.

Even though cancer is a general term referring to more than 200 different diseases, there are three common types to be aware of:

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the U.S. with an estimated 228,820 new cases in 2020. Usually, the result of smoking, lung cancer often shows no symptoms until it spreads. If you do have symptoms such as constant coughing, hoarseness, respiratory infections, and coughing up blood, please see your health care provider.

Breast cancer affects an estimated 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop breast cancer throughout of her lifetime, making this the most common cancer found in women. Signs of breast cancer include developing a lump, breast pain, nipple discharge (other than breast milk, including blood), skin irritation, redness, swelling and/or any change in the size or shape of the breast.

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. for men and women. It starts with growth or polyp inside the colon or rectum and takes several years to develop into cancer, making it highly preventable. Although there are often no symptoms during the early stages, you should tell your doctor if you experience rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, changes in your bowel habits, and cramping.

Talk with your health care team about what screens are appropriate for you.

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Updated August 25, 2020