Prevention


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Given the changing nature of global health, we highly recommend that readers of this website check with programs and training sites of interest to assure accurate information. More global health opportunities listed under our Collaboration > OHSU Programs Global Health Fair volunteer opportunity video available on our Collaboration page B.I.R.D.S. – India (includes specific in-country site information) CardioStart -Peru and Vietnam (includes specific in-country site information) Child Family Health International Doctors for Global Health -El Salvadore Einstein’s Summer Institute in Global Health – New York & India Health Bridges International – Peru (includes specific in-country site information) Hillside Clinic – Belize Interhealth South America – Ecuador International Health Alliance – Guatemala (includes specific in-country site information) International Medical Relief – Global IFMSA Rotations – Global JFR Foundation – Global MECOR Program for Pulmonologists – Latin America, Turkey, Africa, India & Vietnam Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Global Ministry of Health (MOH) – Palau (includes specific in-country site information) Oregon University System – IE3 Global Internship Program Panama Global Connections – Panama Project Helping Hands – Global SOIL Interns – Haiti STIKES Advaita Medical College – Bali Indonesia The Harambee Centre – Kenya (includes specific in-country site information) The Ray of Hope Foundation – Kenya (includes specific in-country site information) B.I.R.D.S. Pictures and text describing the educational aspects of B.I.R.D.S. can be found at http://www.birdsint.org BIRDS International in-country site information CARDIOSTART INTERNATIONAL CardioStart is an international humanitarian organization dedicated to assisting children and adults with heart disease. In response to requests from countries lacking heart and lung surgical and other specialist facilities, volunteer teams conduct overseas missions utilizing medical, technical, and non-medical expertise from numerous locations throughout the world. No fees are charged for any services provided. Recipient countries, which require support, fall into two basic categories of need: Those with hospitals incapacitated by civil strife, or severe lack of funding or personnel. Those lacking existing facilities to effectively perform complex surgery. CardioStart in-country site information Email: info@cardiostart.org CHILD FAMILY HEALTH INTERNATIONAL Child Family Health International (CFHI) is the leading nongovernmental organization (NGO) placing health science students on global health education programs in ways that are socially responsible and financially just. They model best global health education practices which demonstrate a priority commitment to community engagement and local integrity. CFHI is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations. DOCTORS FOR GLOBAL HEALTH – EL SALVADORE Join Doctors for Global Health’s (DGH’s) longest-running project in Estancia, a village in the mountains of Northeast El Salvador. Work closely with health promoters and a team of local leaders in providing excellent clinical care and advocacy to poor, sick patients. This program is looking for Spanish-speaking physicians, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, or fourth year medical students willing to make a 3-12 month commitment to DGH’s partner organization. They are placing volunteers immediately, and looking through end of 2010; their greatest need is July-September 2009. More details EINSTEIN’S SUMMER INSTITUTE IN GLOBAL HEALTH Students can travel to India this summer and learn to become change agents for global health through Einstein’s Center for Public Health Sciences. In this unique four-week program, they will study the increasing role globalization plays on ethical issues in health in New York and in India, while immersing themselves in Indian culture. HEALTH BRIDGES INTERNATIONAL – PERU Health Bridges International has an on-going community clinic, water filtration and public health program in Lima and Arequipa. They have had students involved from a variety of medical schools – including OHSU. There are numerous opportunities for medical and health professions students to be involved, such as in community health research, direct patient care rotations and public health infrastructure development. In addition, placements (for up to 9 months) are available for elective rotations. HBI in-country site information HILLSIDE CLINIC – BELIZE At the Hillside Clinic in Belize physician responsibilities include oversight for medical students, direct patient care that occurs in their clinic and on mobile clinics as well as home visitation. They work closely with and have excellent credibility with the Belizean Ministry of Health. We provide accommodations for physician volunteers at no charge and have drivers available to help with your transportation needs. The experience is wonderful and the work is much appreciated. If you are interested – please email Jeff Hartman at or call him at (608) 751-7672. IFMSA ROTATIONS – GLOBAL The International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA) is an established federation of medical student associations from across the world. It is recognized as an important non-governmental organization and collaborative partner by WHO, UNESCO, other UN agencies and several INGOs, such as the Global Health Forum. IFMSA’s exchange program is well-established and offers medical students throughout the world the opportunity to participate in clerkships, research activities, exchanges, and electives across the world. INTERHEALTH SOUTH AMERICA Interhealth South America Study and service program in Ecuador for medical students and resident physicians. INTERNATIONAL HEALTH ALLIANCE – GUATEMALA General Medical Elective Course – Malnutrition Services and Maternal Child Health. U.S. IHA offers a 4 week elective in Peten Guatemala for students, residents and professionals in the allied health fields. This program offers an overview of the major issues in International Health: Malnutrition Maternal child health Infectious disease Impact of culture and infrastructure on health The focus of the elective is based on a morbidity survey of 100 communities from all parts of the Peten done in March, 2000. Students attending the program for the first time rotate through 4 clinical sites each of which addresses one of the major health issues impacting the Peten. Details Community Service – International Health Alliance recognizes the important role of infrastructure in creating and maintaining a healthy environment. For this reason in addition to their role in medicine they have begun community development projects in the areas of construction, education and sanitation. They look forward to your professional expertise as a volunteer as they embark upon these new projects. Business Service Agricultural Development (clean water project) Educational Services (training of health promoters) Community Development (pharmacy construction and management) IHA Guatemala in-country site information More IHA Peten, Guatemala information INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL RELIEF International Medical Relief provides medical, dental and surgical care to under-served and vulnerable people around the world through medical mission trips. IMR recruits qualified medical teams and offers short-term assignments for volunteer doctors, dentists and other health care professionals as well as non-medical volunteers to conduct overseas medical clinics in areas where health care is limited or difficult to obtain. JFR FOUNDATION The Jessie F. Richardson Foundation creates and disseminates proven, sustainable, and replicable models which improve the lives of vulnerable older adults, particularly in developing areas, through education, training, and technical assistance. MECOR PROGRAM FOR PULMONOLOGISTS The primary aim of the ATS MECOR Program is capacity building for research, based on the idea that individuals with skills in research are needed develop, design and carry out studies to identify and quantify the burden of lung disease in their country and to develop, implement and evaluate interventions that are likely to be effective in their settings. MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES (MSF) Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural or man-made disasters. MINISTRY OF HEALTH (MOH) PALAU This is an internship program with the Epidemiology Department of the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Palau, part of the large island group of Micronesia. Palau in-country site information OREGON UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OPPORTUNITIES – IE3 GLOBAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM OHSU students now have an opportunity to participate in the Oregon University System’s IE3 Global Internships program. The program offers several health related placements in various international locations. Initiated in 1996, the program has operated successfully, placing nearly 2000 students in a wide range of professional settings and locations. Most placements are in the area of public health and are not in clinical settings. OHSU IE3 Campus Adviser: Jay D. Kravitz, MD, MPH PANAMA GLOBAL CONNECTIONS Panama Global Connection facilitates transformative education experiences that promote global leadership potential and the development of intercultural relationships. Panama Global Connection is a family owned business with representatives in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and the United States.Educators and other group leaders are offered the opportunity to create customized courses and trips with the help of Panama Global Connection staff. Courses are researched and coordinated by an experienced educator and staff. Courses are tailored to the needs of the primary course instructor. PROJECT HELPING HANDS Project Helping Hands is a non-affiliated not-for-profit organization dedicated to facilitating culturally sensitive growth opportunities for volunteers to provide health and medical intervention programs for those lacking access; to develop sustainable, locally-run health promotion and prevention programs, and to assist with the basic life needs of the less fortunate in developing nations. SOIL (COMPOSTING TOILETS) – HAITI Sustainable Organic Integrate Livelihoods (SOIL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti. STIKES ADVAITA MEDICAL COLLEGE Advaita Medical College (STIKES Advaita Medika Tabanan) offers Global Health Summer classes for students and health care professionals in Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia. Details THE HARAMBEE CENTRE – KENYA The Harambee Centre welcomes all health care professionals and all students to volunteer at the Chelwe Clinic in Kenya. The Centre connects the people of the Pacific Northwest with the people and cultures of Africa. Harambee means “Let’s pull together” in Kiswahili; their logo is the Ashanti adinkra for strength. The mission of the Harambee Centre is to pull people together for the good of the global community. We believe that multicultural education and intercultural exchange are essential to building genuine understanding, respect and enduring relationships among diverse peoples. The Harambee Centre is a successful organization because of the immense efforts of its volunteers. Whether donating time, money, resources or expertise, volunteers continue to make a huge difference. Chelwe Clinic (Harambee Center) in-country site information THE RAY OF HOPE FOUNDATION – KENYA The Ray of Hope Foundation The Ray of Hope Foundation is recruiting medical, PA, nursing and midwifery students with at least one clinical rotation; plus nurse practitioner students and residents for the initial rotations. They hope to expand the rotation to include dental, engineering, pharmacy, public health, research and pre-professional students in the 2010 academic year. The Foundation was formed in 2003 by OHSU’s Dr. Teresa F. Gipson, a family physician with over ten years of experience working with vulnerable, underserved populations in the U.S. and abroad. It is dedicated to the promotion of health, healing, medicine and education to the global community through exchange of volunteers, technology, training, medical supplies and education programming. Ray of Hope in-country site information THE SOUTH TEXAS ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH (STEER) PROGRAM The South Texas Environmental Education and Research (STEER) program at the University of Texas School of Medicine-San Antonio (UTSOMSA) provides in vivo training experiences at the US-Mexico Border for medical students, residents and other health professionals in an unusual and informative setting. The setting distinguishes it from other programs in the Nation.; H1N1 Influenza, drug-resistant tuberculosis, rabies, pesticides, and air and water pollutants do not respect borders and have the potential to affect the US population. The program invites students to step outside a treatment-based medicine paradigm and into a preventative one. Oregon Health & Science University Oregon Health & Science University is dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for all Oregonians through excellence, innovation and leadership in health care, education and research. © 2001-2014 Oregon Health & Science University OHSU is an equal opportunity affirmative action institution. Notice of Privacy Practices Web Browser Accessibility OHSU Home Contact OHSU OHSU RESOURCES Maps & Directions Jobs Library Calendar Giving to OHSU ABOUT OHSU Accessibility Diversity Integrity PATIENT RESOURCES Billing & Insurance Find a Doctor Find a Clinic For Patients & Visitors Clinical Trials RESEARCH About Administration Shared Resources Technology Transfer Research Expertise EDUCATION School of Medicine School of Nursing School of Dentistry College of Pharmacy Admissions Academic and Student Affairs FOR EMPLOYEES O2 Email Connecting Off-Campus Skip to content In English | En español Search NCI Home Cancer Topics Clinical Trials Cancer Statistics Research & Funding News About NCI Global Cancer Research Programs In EnglishEn español Updated: 01/28/2013 Page Options Print This Page Email This Document Share Popular Resources Director’s Page About the Director NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms Cancer-related terms NCI Drug Dictionary Definitions, names, and links Funding Opportunities Research and training NCI Funded Research Portfolio Funding information reports Advisory Boards and Groups Information, meetings, reports Español Información en español Global Cancer Research Programs The National Cancer Act of 1971 authorized the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support collaborative international research and training. In exercising this authority, NCI collaborates to advance cancer research, build expertise, and leverage resources across nations to address the global burden of cancer and reduce cancer deaths. Enabling the open exchange of scientific knowledge and ideas is critical in these efforts. NCI advances the delivery of cancer information and care to people around the world through its international cancer control and research programs. The programs and activities highlighted below are just a sample of the work being done by NCI scientists, our grantees, and our international partners. Global Cancer Burden – Quick Facts: Cancer is the leading cause of death in developed countries and the second leading cause of death in developing countries. Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 12 million deaths in 2030. The most common cancers worldwide are lung, breast, large intestine (colon and rectum), stomach, and prostate. The cancer that causes the most deaths overall is lung cancer, followed by stomach and liver cancer. Some cancers are more common in developed countries: prostate, breast, and colon. Liver, stomach, and cervical cancer are more common in developing countries. Explore by Cancer Topics: Basic and Clinical Research Bioinformatics Building Capacity and Infrastructure Cancer Control and Prevention Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Cancer Treatment Clinical Trials Funding Opportunities Quality of Care Training Explore by Region: Africa Asia Australia Canada Europe Latin America Middle East Cancer Topics: Basic and Clinical Research AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC) AMC is an NCI-supported clinical trials group founded in 1995 to support innovative trials for HIV-associated malignancies. It is composed of eight Domestic Core Sites, four International Core Sites, and a number of affiliated sites that involve patients in AMC trials. This effort is supported by NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy. Chernobyl Tissue Bank (CTB) CTB collects samples of tumors and normal tissues from people who were exposed to radioactive iodine in childhood. This project, which started in October 1998, is jointly funded by the European Commission, NCI, and the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation of Japan (SMHF). It is coordinated from Imperial College, London, and works with Institutes in Russia and the Ukraine to support local scientists and clinicians to manage and run a tissue bank containing specimens from patients who have developed thyroid tumors following exposure to radiation from the Chernobyl accident. NCI’s Division of Cancer Biology helps to fund and coordinate this program. Cohort Consortium The Cohort Consortium is an international collaboration of intramural and extramural investigators responsible for 41 independently funded cohorts containing over 4 million individuals across the globe. NCI formed this partnership to address the need for large-scale collaborations to pool the vast quantity of data and biospecimens needed to conduct a wide range of cancer studies. NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics is a partner in this initiative. The Breast and Prostate Cancer Consortium (BPCC) Initiated by the Cohort Consortium, BPCC investigators are searching for genetic determinants of breast and prostate cancer. Genetic variants in 50 genes related to steroid hormone and insulin-like growth factor activity are being assessed across an international series of cohorts to determine genetic predictors in these genes related to disease risk. Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP) EGRP is supporting a growing number of national and international research consortia focusing on intradisciplinary and translational research on common and rare cancers. Cohort, case-control, and familial studies are included. This program is supported by NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. Bioinformatics Biometric Research Branch (BRB) – ArrayTools Software developed for microarray data analysis by the Biometric Research Branch, the statistical and biomathematical component of the Division of Cancer Treatment & Diagnosis, has over 9,000 registered users in over 70 countries worldwide. Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG®) caBIG® connects the cancer community, including an expanding group of international collaborators. To date, 16 countries are using or evaluating caBIG® tools and technology to facilitate collaborative biomedical research in cancer and beyond. caBIG® was developed by NCI’s Center for Bioinformatics. Building Capacity and Infrastructure Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) Program The NCI, in cooperation with other parts of the National Institutes of Health, provides awards to establish and maintain several CFARs that conduct research on the prevention, detection, and treatment of HIV infection, AIDS, and AIDS-related malignancies. African CFAR collaborations include institutions in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The CFAR Program is supported by NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy. Center for Global Health The Center for Global Health supports NCI’s goals of advancing global cancer research, building expertise, and leveraging resources across nations to address the burden of cancer and reduce cancer deaths worldwide. Enabling the open exchange of scientific knowledge and ideas is critical in these efforts. Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium (AICC) AICC brings together the governments of the United States and both parts of Ireland to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer among the Irish people, who have one of the highest rates of cancer in the Western world. AICC is administered by NCI’s Center for Global Health. MECC Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC) MECC was established 14 years ago as a unique partnership between the United States and the Ministries of Health of Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and the Palestinian Authority. MECC is administered by NCI’s Center for Global Health. Cancer Research in China The Center for Global Health promotes, supports, and informs the development of cooperative research projects between U.S. and Chinese scientists, research teams, and institutions to accelerate progress against cancer through programs focused on Cancer Research in China (International Cancer Research). Center for Global Health. International Cancer Research The Center for Global Health coordinates the NCI’s worldwide activities in a number of arenas focused on International Cancer Research, including establishing liaisons with foreign and international agencies; coordinating cancer research activities under formal agreements between the United States and other countries; planning and implementing international scientist exchange programs; sponsoring international workshops; and disseminating information to cancer communities worldwide. Cancer Research in Latin America Through an innovative partnership between NCI and the Fogarty International Center (FIC), the Center of Global Health manages programs focused on Cancer Research in Latin America to support and enhance cancer research and care in Latin America. United States-Latin America Cancer Research Network The network currently includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay and is responsible for developing a comprehensive understanding of the burden of cancer and the status of cancer research and cancer care infrastructures in Latin American countries, as well as building collaborative relationships to support high-quality research and clinical studies. This is a program of the Center for Global Health. Strengthening Capacity for Research for HIV-Associated Malignancies in Africa This initiative, supported by NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy and co-funded by the Fogarty International Center, provides funding for innovative training programs designed to train African research teams in preparation for collaboration on future research projects. Cancer Control and Prevention American Russian Cancer Alliance (ARCA) ARCA brings together scientists and clinicians in the Russian Federation and the United States, including NCI, to share perspectives and reach a greater understanding of the burden of cancer. The partnership focuses its attention on two major areas of cancer research, radioimmuno-imaging and therapy, and tobacco control. Applied Research Program The NCI Applied Research Program (ARP) is actively engaged in international collaborative activities across the research continuum. ARP supports research in health services, health economics, risk factor monitoring and methods, and outcomes, including patient-reported outcomes. ARP is a program within the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences . Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) To improve breast cancer outcomes in low- and middle-resource countries, BHGI created comprehensive, resource-sensitive, evidence-based clinical guidelines for breast health care and cancer control. NCI is a scientific partner. Chemopreventive Agent Development Research Group This group promotes and supports research on the development of chemoprevention agents, from preclinical studies to early phase I clinical trials. The research focuses on identifying and developing agents with the potential to block, reverse, or delay the early stages of cancer. This program is supported by NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention. Ghana Prostate Cancer Study This study is assessing the burden of prostate cancer among West African men using a population-based prostate cancer screening survey and a clinical survey of diagnosed prostate tumors. Ghanaian men and African American men, who have one of the world’s highest risks of prostate cancer, share genetic ancestry but have different lifestyle factors. International Tobacco Research Program The NCI Tobacco Control Research Branch (TCRB) leads and collaborates on research, to disseminate evidence-based findings to prevent, treat, and control tobacco use worldwide. TCRB is a branch of the Behavioral Research Program of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. Cancer Detection and Diagnosis AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource (ACSR) ACSR was established by NCI in 1994 to acquire, store, and equitably distribute tumor tissues, biological fluids, and associated clinical information from patients with HIV-associated malignancies to the scientific research community at large. NCI believes that prospective and longitudinal clinical samples collected across the timeline of the HIV/AIDS epidemic are pivotal to understanding the epidemic and its impact on cancer incidence. NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy supports this effort. Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) EDRN supports the creation of a national Network to discover and coordinate the evaluation of biomarkers and reagents for the early detection of cancer and the assessment of risk. This program is supported by NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention. International Leukemia/Lymphoma Molecular Profiling Project This project is an international 10-institution collaboration to establish a molecular classifica­tion of human lymphoid malignancies and define molecular correlations of clinical parameters that are useful in prognosis and in the choice of optimal therapy. Both NCI’s Center for Cancer Research and Division of Cancer Treatment & Diagnosis participate in this effort. Cancer Treatment International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) INCTR is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1998 by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and the Institut Pasteur in Brussels. INCTR aims to reduce mortality and morbidity of cancer in developing countries through a coordinated program of education, training, and the conduct of long-term collaborative projects related to early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care. NCI assists INCTR to achieve its goals by providing financial, technical, and intellectual support. Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) OCCAM supports a variety of international partnerships and collaborations because many complementary and alternative medicine treatments originate as traditional medicines from other countries. International Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cancer Treatment, China International Center for the Evaluation of East Asian Botanicals for Cancer, China Intramural Research Collaboration with Guang An Men Hospital, Beijing, China Research Collaboration with Kunming Institute of Botany, China Collaboration with State Key Lab of Chemistry for Natural Products, China Clinical Trials International Clinical Trials The Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP), part of NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment & Diagnosis, works with members of the NCI-sponsored Clinical Trials Cooperative Groups and international partners to identify barriers to international collaboration and how best to overcome them. CTEP also shares best practices, provides technical assistance, and has developed a long-range plan for integrating trial sites outside the United States and Canada into the Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program. International Collaborations in Clinical Trials NCI website designed to facilitate designed to facilitate interactions between NCI-funded research teams and investigators outside the United States. Funding Opportunities Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences Funding Opportunities DCCPS International Research Grants Portfolio Cancer Research in China Funding Opportunities International Cancer Research Funding Opportunities Quality of Care International Palliative Care Resource Center (IPCRC) IPCRC makes palliative care resources accessible for health care professionals, builds palliative care capacity worldwide, and provides a dynamic and constantly expanding website. NCI’s Center for Global Health provided funding for this collaborative effort. Training Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium Fellowships and Training The Consortium recognizes the importance of building a workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to practice cancer control and thus sponsors a number of fellowships and training opportunities for scientists, physicians, and other public health professionals from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply for fellowships or short-term training programs. NCI’s Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention One- or four-week courses take place each summer in Maryland for U.S. and international health professionals. The one-week course focuses on molecular prevention, and the four-week course focuses on the principles and practice of cancer prevention and control, during which attendees from many countries present an international perspective on cancer prevention during International Day. This program is coordinated through NCI’s Center for Cancer Training. NIH Visiting Program Each year, approximately 1,000 visiting scientists from more than 74 countries contribute to intramural research projects at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research through the NIH Visiting Program. Short-term Scientist Exchange Program (STSEP) NCI’s Center for Global Health Short-Term Scientist Exchange Program (STSEP) promotes collaborative research between established U.S. and foreign scientists from low, middle, and upper-middle income countries by supporting, in part, exchange visits of cancer researchers from foreign laboratories. United States-Japan Cooperative Cancer Research Program (USJCCRP) Formal researcher exchange programs exist through USJCCRP and are administered by NCI’s Center for Global Health. The program supports scientific workshops and meetings to help advance cancer research and clinical care, creates networks among researchers and institutions, and promotes active participation in cancer research by women and young researchers. Programs by Region Africa NIH Partners with PEPFAR to Strengthen Medical Education in Africa The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced a new initiative to strengthen medical education in Sub-Saharan Africa, in collaboration with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR. The program, called the Medical Education Partnership Initiative, is a joint effort of the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, and 19 components of NIH. Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) Program The NCI, in cooperation with other parts of the National Institutes of Health, provides awards to establish and maintain several CFARs that conduct research on the prevention, detection, and treatment of HIV infection, AIDS, and AIDS-related malignancies. African CFAR collaborations include institutions in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The CFAR Program is supported by NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy. Ghana Prostate Cancer Study This study is assessing the burden of prostate cancer among West African men using a population-based prostate cancer screening survey and a clinical survey of diagnosed prostate tumors. Ghanaian men and African American men, who have one of the world’s highest risks of prostate cancer, share genetic ancestry but have different lifestyle factors. Strengthening Capacity for Research for HIV-Associated Malignancies in Africa This initiative, supported by NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy and co-funded by the Fogarty International Center, provides funding for innovative training programs designed to train African research teams in preparation for collaboration on future research projects. Asia Aga Khan University, Clinical Research Unit, and caBIG® Joint Bioinformatics Management Initiative Clinical researchers at the Aga Khan University have installed the complete NCI cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid® (caBIG®) Clinical Trials Suite and are preparing to collect data from multiple clinical trials. caBIG® Outreach in India NCI’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT) and India’s Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) and have been collaborating to create a common information technology platform for Indian and U.S. researchers to work on mutually identified projects. Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) OCCAM supports a variety of international partnerships and collaborations because many complementary and alternative medicine treatments originate as traditional medicines from other countries. International Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cancer Treatment, China International Center for the Evaluation of East Asian Botanicals for Cancer, China Intramural Research Collaboration with Guang An Men Hospital, Beijing, China Research Collaboration with Kunming Institute of Botany, China Collaboration with State Key Lab of Chemistry for Natural Products, China Cancer Research in China The Center for Global Health promotes, supports, and informs the development of cooperative research projects between U.S. and Chinese scientists, research teams, and institutions to accelerate progress against cancer through programs focused on Cancer Research in China (International Cancer Research). Center for Global Health. Shanghai Women’s Health Study This cohort study is assessing the role of occupational and environmental factors in the development of cancer among women. A number of analytic projects are ongoing, including the assessment of specific cancer risks in relation to anthropometric measurements, physical activity, and reproductive factors. U.S.-India Activities on Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS A U.S.-India Agreement supports innovative and basic research on strategies to prevent HIV infection and transmission through the collaborative efforts of U.S. and Indian investigators and their institutions. This program seeks to advance a multifaceted approach to prevention that addresses the role of other co-infections, behavioral and social interactions, epidemiologic factors, and co-morbidities associated with HIV transmission. United States-Japan Cooperative Cancer Research Program (USJCCRP) Formal researcher exchange programs exist through USJCCRP and are administered by NCI’s Center for Global Health. The program supports scientific workshops and meetings to help advance cancer research and clinical care, creates networks among researchers and institutions, and promotes active participation in cancer research by women and young researchers. Australia BioGrid Australia/caBIG® Collaboration BioGrid Australia is actively collaborating with NCI’s cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid® (caBIG®) development team to expand their grid capabilities. Canada Childhood Cancer Survivor Study This cohort of more than 14,000 five-year survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed at 25 U.S. and Canadian hospitals between 1970 and 1986 is being followed to assess the long-term risks of radiation and chemotherapy for second cancers of the breast, brain, thyroid gland, bone and soft tissue, skin, and salivary glands. Europe All-Ireland NCI Cancer Consortium AICC brings together the governments of the United States and both parts of Ireland to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer among the Irish people, who have one of the highest rates of cancer in the Western world. AICC is administered by NCI’s Center for Global Health The Netherlands The Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM)/caBIG® Collaboration The Center for Translational Molecular Medicine—a consortium of five academic institutions and eight industry organizations across the Netherlands—is deploying several NCI cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid® (caBIG®) applications in support of translational research. Latin America Cancer Research in Latin America Through an innovative partnership between NCI and the Fogarty International Center (FIC), the Center of Global Health manages programs focused on Cancer Research in Latin America to support and enhance cancer research and care in Latin America. United States-Latin America Cancer Research Network The network currently includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay and is responsible for developing a comprehensive understanding of the burden of cancer and the status of cancer research and cancer care infrastructures in Latin American countries, as well as building collaborative relationships to support high-quality research and clinical studies. This is a program of the Center for Global Health. Middle East MECC Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC) MECC was established 14 years ago as a unique partnership between the United States and the Ministries of Health of Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and the Palestinian Authority. MECC is administered by NCI’s Center for Global Health. We Can Answer Your Questions1-800-4-CANCERLiveHelp Online Chat NCI HomeContact UsPoliciesAccessibilityViewing FilesFOIASite HelpSite Map Follow Us: TwitterYouTubeFacebookRSSOther Versions: Mobile | Español U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesNational Institutes of HealthNational Cancer InstituteUSA.gov NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health® Español Prevention by Cancer Type Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services B Breast Cancer Prevention C Cancer Prevention Overview Cervical Cancer Prevention Colorectal Cancer Prevention E Endometrial Cancer Prevention Esophageal Cancer Prevention L Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer Prevention Lung Cancer Prevention O Oral Cancer Prevention Ovarian Cancer Prevention P Prostate Cancer Prevention S Skin Cancer Prevention Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Prevention Español Breast Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 05/31/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to collapse contents Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor. Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer. Different ways to prevent cancer are being studied, including: Changing lifestyle or eating habits. Avoiding things known to cause cancer. Taking medicines to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting. General Information About Breast Cancer click to expand contents Breast Cancer Prevention click to expand contents Español Breast Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 05/31/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Breast Cancer click to collapse contents Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts. Enlarge Anatomy of the female breast. The nipple and areola are shown on the outside of the breast. The lymph nodes, lobes, lobules, ducts, and other parts of the inside of the breast are also shown. Each breast also has blood vessels and lymph vessels. The lymph vessels carry an almost colorless fluid called lymph. Lymph vessels lead to organs called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body. They filter lymph and store white blood cells that help fight infection and disease. Clusters of lymph nodes are found near the breast in the axilla (under the arm), above the collarbone, and in the chest. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about breast cancer: Breast Cancer Screening Breast Cancer Treatment Genetics of Breast and Ovarian Cancer Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in American women. Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except skin cancer. The number of new cases of breast cancer has stayed about the same since 2003. Breast cancer is second to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in American women. However, deaths from breast cancer have decreased a little bit every year for the past several years. Breast cancer also occurs in men, but the number of new cases is small. Breast Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. NCI’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool uses a woman’s risk factors to estimate her risk for breast cancer during the next five years and up to age 90. This online tool is meant to be used by a health care provider. For more information on breast cancer risk, call 1-800-4-CANCER. The following risk factors may increase the risk of breast cancer: Estrogen (made in the body) Estrogen is a hormone made by the body. It helps the body develop and maintain female sex characteristics. Being exposed to estrogen over a long time may increase the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen levels are highest during the years a woman is menstruating. A woman’s exposure to estrogen is increased in the following ways: Early menstruation: Beginning to have menstrual periods at age 11 or younger increases the number of years the breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. Late menopause: The more years a woman menstruates, the longer her breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. Late pregnancy or never being pregnant: Because estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy, breast tissue is exposed to more estrogen in women who become pregnant for the first time after age 35 or who never become pregnant. Combination hormone replacement therapy/Hormone therapy Hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can be made into a pill form in a laboratory. Estrogen, progestin, or both may be given to replace the estrogen no longer made by the ovaries in postmenopausal women or women who have had their ovaries removed. This is called hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or hormone therapy (HT). Combination HRT/HT is estrogen combined with progesterone or progestin. This type of HRT/HT increases the risk of breast cancer. Women taking combination HRT/HT also may be more likely to have an abnormal mammogram. Studies show that when women stop taking estrogen combined with progesterone, the risk of breast cancer decreases. Exposure to Radiation Radiation therapy to the chest for the treatment of cancers increases the risk of breast cancer, starting 10 years after treatment and lasting for a lifetime. The risk of developing breast cancer depends on the dose of radiation and the age at which it is given. The risk is highest if radiation treatment was used during puberty. For example, radiation therapy used to treat Hodgkin disease by age 16, especially radiation to the chest and neck, increases the risk of breast cancer. Radiation therapy to treat cancer in one breast does not appear to increase the risk of developing cancer in the other breast. For women who are at risk of breast cancer due to inherited changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, exposure to radiation, such as that from chest x-rays, may further increase the risk of breast cancer, especially in women who were x-rayed before 20 years of age. Obesity Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who have not used hormone replacement therapy. Alcohol Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. The level of risk rises as the amount of alcohol consumed rises. Inherited Risk Women who have inherited certain changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a higher risk of breast cancer, and the breast cancer may develop at a younger age. The following protective factors may decrease the risk of breast cancer: Estrogen-only hormone therapy for postmenopausal women Estrogen-only hormone therapy may be given to women who have had a hysterectomy. In these women, estrogen-only therapy after menopause decreases the risk of breast cancer. In women who have a uterus, estrogen-only therapy increases the risk of uterine cancer. Exercise Exercising four or more hours a week may decrease hormone levels and help lower breast cancer risk. The effect of exercise on breast cancer risk may be greatest in premenopausal women of normal or low weight. Care should be taken to exercise safely, because exercise carries the risk of injury to bones and muscles. Estrogen (decreased exposure) Decreasing the length of time a woman’s breast tissue is exposed to estrogen may help prevent breast cancer. Exposure to estrogen is reduced in the following ways: Pregnancy: Estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy. The risk of breast cancer appears to be lower if a woman has her first full-term pregnancy before she is 20 years old. Breast-feeding: Estrogen levels may remain lower while a woman is breast-feeding. Ovarian ablation: The amount of estrogen made by the body can be greatly reduced by removing one or both ovaries, which make estrogen. Also, drugs may be taken to lower the amount of estrogen made by the ovaries. Late menstruation: Beginning to have menstrual periods at age 14 or older decreases the number of years the breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. Early menopause: The fewer years a woman menstruates, the shorter the time her breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. Selective estrogen receptor modulators Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are drugs that act like estrogen on some tissues in the body, but block the effect of estrogen on other tissues. Tamoxifen is a SERM that belongs to the family of drugs called antiestrogens. Antiestrogens block the effects of the hormone estrogen in the body. Tamoxifen lowers the risk of breast cancer in women who are at high risk for the disease. This effect lasts for several years after drug treatment is stopped. Taking tamoxifen increases the risk of developing other serious conditions, including endometrial cancer, stroke, cataracts, and blood clots, especially in the lungs and legs. The risk of developing these conditions increases with age. Women younger than 50 years who have a high risk of breast cancer may benefit the most from taking tamoxifen. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this drug. Raloxifene is another SERM that helps prevent breast cancer. In postmenopausal women with osteoporosis (decreased bone density), raloxifene lowers the risk of breast cancer for women at both high risk and low risk of developing the disease. It is not known if raloxifene would have the same effect in women who do not have osteoporosis. Like tamoxifen, raloxifene may increase the risk of blood clots, especially in the lungs and legs, but does not appear to increase the risk of endometrial cancer. Other SERMs are being studied in clinical trials. Aromatase inhibitors Aromatase inhibitors lower the risk of a new breast cancer in women who have an increased risk of breast cancer. Women with an increased risk of breast cancer include the following: Postmenopausal women with a personal history of breast cancer. Women with no personal history of breast cancer who are 60 years and older, have a history of ductal carcinoma in situ with mastectomy, or have a high risk of breast cancer based on the Gail model tool (considers many risk factors for breast cancer). In women with an increased risk of breast cancer, taking aromatase inhibitors decreases the amount of estrogen made by the body. Before menopause, estrogen is made by the ovaries and other tissues in a woman’s body, including the brain, fat tissue, and skin. After menopause, the ovaries stop making estrogen, but the other tissues do not. Aromatase inhibitors block the action of an enzyme called aromatase, which is used to make all of the body’s estrogen. Possible harms from taking aromatase inhibitors include muscle and joint pain, osteoporosis, hot flashes, and feeling very tired. Prophylactic mastectomy Some women who have a high risk of breast cancer may choose to have a prophylactic mastectomy (the removal of both breasts when there are no signs of cancer). The risk of breast cancer is lowered in these women. However, it is very important to have a cancer risk assessment and counseling about all options for possible prevention before making this decision. In some women, prophylactic mastectomy may cause anxiety, depression, and concerns about body image. Prophylactic oophorectomy Some women who have a high risk of breast cancer may choose to have a prophylactic oophorectomy (the removal of both ovaries when there are no signs of cancer). This decreases the amount of estrogen made by the body and lowers the risk of breast cancer. However, it is very important to have a cancer risk assessment and counseling before making this decision. The sudden drop in estrogen levels may cause the onset of symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and depression. Long-term effects include decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness, and decreased bone density. These symptoms vary greatly among women. Fenretinide Fenretinide is a type of vitamin A called a retinoid. When given to premenopausal women who have a history of breast cancer, fenretinide may lower the risk of forming a new breast cancer. Taken over time, fenretinide may cause night blindness and skin disorders. Women must avoid pregnancy while taking this drug because it could harm a developing fetus. The following have been proven not to be risk factors for breast cancer or their effects on breast cancer risk are not known: Abortion There does not appear to be a link between abortion and breast cancer. Oral Contraceptives Taking oral contraceptives (“the pill”) may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer in current users. This risk decreases over time. The most commonly used oral contraceptive contains estrogen. Progestin-only contraceptives that are injected or implanted do not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer. Environment Studies have not proven that being exposed to certain substances in the environment (such as chemicals, metals, dust, and pollution) increases the risk of breast cancer. Diet Diet is being studied as a risk factor for breast cancer. It is not proven that a diet low in fat or high in fruits and vegetables will prevent breast cancer. For more information on diet and health, see the Nutrition for Everyone: Fruits and Vegetables Web site. Active and passive cigarette smoking It has not been proven that either active cigarette smoking or passive smoking (inhaling secondhand smoke) increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Statins Studies have not found that taking statins (cholesterol -lowering drugs) affects the risk of breast cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include exercising more or quitting smoking or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements. New ways to prevent breast cancer are being studied in clinical trials. Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. Information about clinical trials can be found in the Clinical Trials section of the NCI Web site. Check NCI’s list of cancer clinical trials for breast cancer prevention trials that are now accepting patients. Español Cancer Prevention Overview (PDQ®) Last Modified: 12/05/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is Prevention? click to collapse contents Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. Cancer is not a single disease but a group of related diseases. Many things in our genes, our lifestyle, and the environment around us may increase or decrease our risk of getting cancer. Scientists are studying many different ways to help prevent cancer, including the following: Ways to avoid or control things known to cause cancer. Changes in diet and lifestyle. Finding precancerous conditions early. Precancerous conditions are conditions that may become cancer. Chemoprevention (medicines to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting). Carcinogenesis click to collapse contents Carcinogenesis is the process in which normal cells turn into cancer cells. Carcinogenesis is the series of steps that take place as a normal cell becomes a cancer cell. Cells are the smallest units of the body and they make up the body’s tissues. Each cell contains genes that guide the way the body grows, develops, and repairs itself. There are many genes that control whether a cell lives or dies, divides (multiplies), or takes on special functions, such as becoming a nerve cell or a muscle cell. Changes (mutations) in genes occur during carcinogenesis. Changes (mutations) in genes can cause normal controls in cells to break down. When this happens, cells do not die when they should and new cells are produced when the body does not need them. The buildup of extra cells may cause a mass (tumor) to form. Tumors can be benign or malignant (cancerous). Malignant tumor cells invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. Benign tumor cells do not invade nearby tissues or spread. Risk Factors click to collapse contents Scientists study risk factors and protective factors to find ways to prevent new cancers from starting. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor. Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Risk factors that a person can control are called modifiable risk factors. Many other factors in our environment, diet, and lifestyle may cause or prevent cancer. This summary reviews only the major cancer risk factors and protective factors that can be controlled or changed to reduce the risk of cancer. Risk factors that are not described in the summary include certain sexual behaviors, the use of estrogen, and being exposed to certain substances at work or to certain chemicals. Factors That are Known to Increase the Risk of Cancer Cigarette Smoking and Tobacco Use Tobacco use is strongly linked to an increased risk for many kinds of cancer. Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of the following types of cancer: Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Bladder cancer. Esophageal cancer. Kidney cancer. Lung cancer. Oral cavity cancer. Pancreatic cancer. Stomach cancer. Not smoking or quitting smoking lowers the risk of getting cancer and dying from cancer. Scientists believe that cigarette smoking causes about 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States. See the following PDQ summaries for more information: Lung Cancer Prevention Cigarette Smoking: Health Risks and How to Quit Infections Certain viruses and bacteria are able to cause cancer. Viruses and other infection -causing agents cause more cases of cancer in the developing world (about 1 in 4 cases of cancer) than in developed nations (less than 1 in 10 cases of cancer). Examples of cancer-causing viruses and bacteria include: Human papillomavirus (HPV) increases the risk for cancers of the cervix, penis, vagina, anus, and oropharynx. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses increase the risk for liver cancer. Epstein-Barr virus increases the risk for Burkitt lymphoma. Helicobacter pylori increases the risk for gastric cancer. Two vaccines to prevent infection by cancer-causing agents have already been developed and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One is a vaccine to prevent infection with hepatitis B virus. The other protects against infection with strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause cervical cancer. Scientists continue to work on vaccines against infections that cause cancer. See the following PDQ summaries for more information: Cervical Cancer Prevention Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer Prevention Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Prevention Oral Cancer Prevention Radiation Being exposed to radiation is a known cause of cancer. There are two main types of radiation linked with an increased risk for cancer: Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight: This is the main cause of nonmelanoma skin cancers. Ionizing radiation including: Medical radiation from tests to diagnose cancer such as x-rays, CT scans, fluoroscopy, and nuclear medicine scans. Radon gas in our homes. Scientists believe that ionizing radiation causes leukemia, thyroid cancer, and breast cancer in women. Ionizing radiation may also be linked to myeloma and cancers of the lung, stomach, colon, esophagus, bladder, and ovary. Being exposed to radiation from diagnostic x-rays increases the risk of cancer in patients and x-ray technicians. The growing use of CT scans over the last 20 years has increased exposure to ionizing radiation. The risk of cancer also increases with the number of CT scans a patient has and the radiation dose used each time. See the following PDQ summaries for more information: Breast Cancer Prevention Skin Cancer Prevention Immunosuppressive Medicines Immunosuppressive medicines are linked to an increased risk of cancer. These medicines lower the body’s ability to stop cancer from forming. For example, immunosuppressive medicines may be used to keep a patient from rejecting an organ transplant. Factors That May Affect the Risk of Cancer Diet The foods that you eat on a regular basis make up your diet. Diet is being studied as a risk factor for cancer. It is hard to study the effects of diet on cancer because a person’s diet includes foods that may protect against cancer and foods that may increase the risk of cancer. It is also hard for people who take part in the studies to keep track of what they eat over a long period of time. This may explain why studies have different results about how diet affects the risk of cancer. Some studies show that fruits and nonstarchy vegetables may protect against cancers of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. Fruits may also protect against lung cancer. Some studies have shown that a diet high in fat, proteins, calories, and red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer, but other studies have not shown this. It is not known if a diet low in fat and high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. See the following PDQ summaries for more information: Breast Cancer Prevention Colorectal Cancer Prevention Alcohol Studies have shown that drinking alcohol is linked to an increased risk of the following types of cancers: Oral cancer. Esophageal cancer. Breast cancer. Colorectal cancer (in men). Drinking alcohol may also increase the risk of liver cancer and female colorectal cancer. See the following PDQ summaries for more information: Breast Cancer Prevention Colorectal Cancer Prevention Esophageal Cancer Prevention Oral Cancer Prevention Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer Prevention Physical Activity Studies show that people who are physically active have a lower risk of certain cancers than those who are not. It is not known if physical activity itself is the reason for this. Studies show a strong link between physical activity and a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Some studies show that physical activity protects against postmenopausal breast cancer and endometrial cancer. See the following PDQ summaries for more information: Breast Cancer Prevention Colorectal Cancer Prevention Endometrial Cancer Prevention Obesity Studies show that obesity is linked to a higher risk of the following types of cancer: Postmenopausal breast cancer. Colorectal cancer. Endometrial cancer. Esophageal cancer. Kidney cancer. Pancreatic cancer. Some studies show that obesity is also a risk factor for cancer of the gallbladder. It is not known if losing weight lowers the risk of cancers that have been linked to obesity. See the following PDQ summaries for more information: Breast Cancer Prevention Colorectal Cancer Prevention Endometrial Cancer Prevention Lung Cancer Prevention Environmental Risk Factors Being exposed to chemicals and other substances in the environment has been linked to some cancers: Links between air pollution and cancer risk have been found. These include links between lung cancer and secondhand tobacco smoke, outdoor air pollution, and asbestos. Drinking water that contains a large amount of arsenic has been linked to skin, bladder, and lung cancers. Studies have been done to see if pesticides and other pollutants increase the risk of cancer. The results of those studies have been unclear because other factors can change the results of the studies. Interventions That are Known to Lower Cancer Risk click to collapse contents An intervention is a treatment or action taken to prevent or treat disease, or improve health in other ways. Many studies are being done to find ways to keep cancer from starting or recurring (coming back). Chemoprevention is being studied in patients who have a high risk of developing cancer. Chemoprevention is the use of substances to lower the risk of cancer, or keep it from recurring. The substances may be natural or made in the laboratory. Some chemopreventive agents are tested in people who are at high risk for a certain type of cancer. The risk may be because of a precancerous condition, family history, or lifestyle factors. Some chemoprevention studies have shown good results. For example, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) such as tamoxifen or raloxifene have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women at high risk. Finasteride and dutasteride have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. See the following PDQ summaries for more information: Breast Cancer Prevention Prostate Cancer Prevention New ways to prevent cancer are being studied in clinical trials. Chemoprevention agents that are being studied in clinical trials include COX-2 inhibitors. They are being studied for the prevention of colorectal and breast cancer. Aspirin is being studied for the prevention of colorectal cancer. See the following PDQ summaries for more information: Breast Cancer Prevention Colorectal Cancer Prevention Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. Check NCI’s PDQ Cancer Clinical Trials Registry for cancer prevention trials that are now accepting patients. See the NCI Web site for more information about cancer prevention. Interventions That Are Not Known to Lower Cancer Risk click to collapse contents Vitamin and dietary supplements have not been shown to prevent cancer. An intervention is a treatment or action taken to prevent or treat disease, or improve health in other ways. There is not enough proof that taking multivitamin and mineral supplements or single vitamins or minerals can prevent cancer. The following vitamins and mineral supplements have been studied, but have not been shown to lower the risk of cancer: Vitamin B6. Vitamin B12. Vitamin E. Vitamin C. Beta carotene. Folic acid. Selenium. Vitamin D. The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) found that vitamin E taken alone increased the risk of prostate cancer. The risk continued even after the men stopped taking vitamin E. Taking selenium with vitamin E or taking selenium alone did not increase the risk of prostate cancer. Vitamin D has also been studied to see if it has anticancer effects. Skin exposed to sunshine can make vitamin D. Vitamin D can also be consumed in the diet and in dietary supplements. Taking vitamin D in doses from 400-1100 IU / day has not been shown to lower the risk of cancer. The VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) is under way to study whether taking vitamin D (2000 IU/ day) and omega-3 fatty acids from marine (oily fish) sources lowers the risk of cancer. The Physicians’ Health Study found that men who have had cancer in the past and take a multivitamin daily may have a slightly lower risk of having a second cancer. See the following PDQ summaries for more information: Breast Cancer Prevention Colorectal Cancer Prevention Lung Cancer Prevention Prostate Cancer Prevention New ways to prevent cancer are being studied in clinical trials. Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. Check NCI’s list of cancer clinical trials for cancer prevention trials that are now accepting patients. See the NCI Web site for more information about cancer prevention. Español Cervical Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 08/22/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to collapse contents Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor. Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer. Different ways to prevent cancer are being studied, including: Changing lifestyle or eating habits. Avoiding things known to cause cancer. Taking medicines to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting. General Information About Cervical Cancer click to collapse contents Cervical cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the cervix. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows). The cervix connects the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). Enlarge Anatomy of the female reproductive system. The organs in the female reproductive system include the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, and vagina. The uterus has a muscular outer layer called the myometrium and an inner lining called the endometrium. Cervical cancer usually develops slowly over time. Before cancer appears in the cervix, the cells of the cervix go through a series of changes in which cells that are not normal begin to appear in the cervical tissue. When cells change from being normal cells to abnormal cells, it is called dysplasia. Depending on the number of abnormal cells, dysplasia may go away without treatment. The more abnormal cells there are, the less likely they are to go away. Dysplasia that is not treated may turn into cancer, over time. The cancer cells grow and spread through the cervix. It can take many years for dysplasia to turn into cancer. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about cervical cancer: Cervical Cancer Screening Cervical Cancer Treatment Screening for cervical cancer using the Pap test has decreased the number of deaths from cervical cancer. The number of deaths from cervical cancer has decreased since widespread screening with the Pap test (Pap smear) began. Cervical Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. The following risk factors increase the risk of cervical cancer: HPV Infection The most common cause of cervical cancer is infection of the cervix with human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 80 types of human papillomavirus. About 30 types can infect the cervix and about half of them have been linked to cervical cancer. HPV infection is common but only a very small number of women infected with HPV develop cervical cancer. HPV infections that cause cervical cancer are spread mainly through sexual contact. Women who become sexually active at a young age and who have many sexual partners are at a greater risk of HPV infection and developing cervical cancer. Smoking Smoking cigarettes and breathing in secondhand smoke increase the risk of cervical cancer. Among women infected with HPV, dysplasia and invasive cancer occur 2 to 3 times more often in current and former smokers. Secondhand smoke causes a smaller increase in risk. The following risk factors may increase the risk of cervical cancer: High number of full-term pregnancies Women who have had 7 or more full-term pregnancies may have an increased risk of cervical cancer. Long-term use of oral contraceptives Women who have used oral contraceptives (“the Pill”) for 5 years or more have a greater risk of cervical cancer than women who have never used oral contraceptives. The risk is higher after 10 years of use. The following protective factors may decrease the risk of cervical cancer: Preventing HPV infection HPV may be prevented by the following: Avoiding sexual activity: HPV infection of the cervix is the most common cause of cervical cancer. Avoiding sexual activity decreases the risk of HPV infection. Using barrier protection or spermicidal gels: Some methods used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) decrease the risk of HPV infection. The use of barrier methods of birth control (such as a condom or gel that kills sperm) help protect against HPV infection. Getting an HPV Vaccine: Two HPV vaccines have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The HPV vaccines have been shown to prevent infection with the two types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. The vaccines protect against infection with these types of HPV for 6 to 8 years. It is not known if the protection lasts longer. The vaccines do not protect women who are already infected with HPV. Screening Regular pelvic exams and Pap tests help find abnormal cells in the cervix before cancer develops. However, test and procedures that may be used after an abnormal pelvic exam or Pap test result have risks. For example, the treatment of low-grade lesions may affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant or carry a baby to full term. In women younger than 25 years, screening with the Pap test has more risks than benefits. Screening with the Pap test is not helpful in women older than 60 years who have had recent negative Pap tests. (See the PDQ summary on Cervical Cancer Screening for more information.) The effect of diet on cervical cancer risk is not known. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements. Colorectal Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 06/03/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Colorectal Cancer click to collapse contents Colorectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon or the rectum. The colon is part of the body’s digestive system. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. The digestive system is made up of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The first 6 feet of the large intestine are called the large bowel or colon. The last 6 inches are the rectum and the anal canal. The anal canal ends at the anus (the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body). Enlarge Anatomy of the lower digestive system, showing the colon and other organs. Cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer, and cancer that begins in the rectum is called rectal cancer. Cancer that affects either of these organs may also be called colorectal cancer. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about colorectal cancer: Colorectal Cancer Screening Colon Cancer Treatment Rectal Cancer Treatment Genetics of Colorectal Cancer Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. The number of new colorectal cancer cases and the number of deaths from colorectal cancer are both decreasing a little bit each year. However, in adults younger than 50 years, the number of new colorectal cancer cases has slowly increased since 1998. Finding and treating colorectal cancer early may prevent death from colorectal cancer. Screening tests may be used to help find colorectal cancer. Colorectal Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. The following risk factors increase the risk of colorectal cancer: Age The risk of colorectal cancer increases after age 50. Most cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed after age 50. Family history of colorectal cancer Having a parent, brother, sister, or child with colorectal cancer doubles a person’s risk of colorectal cancer. Personal history Having a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Inherited risk The risk of colorectal cancer is increased when certain gene changes linked to familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC or Lynch Syndrome) are inherited. Alcohol Drinking 3 or more alcoholic beverages per day increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Drinking alcohol is also linked to the risk of forming large colorectal adenomas (benign tumors). Cigarette  .s Español Endometrial Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 06/06/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Endometrial Cancer click to collapse contents Endometrial cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the endometrium. The endometrium is the lining of the uterus. The uterus is part of the female reproductive system. It is a hollow, pear-shaped, muscular organ in the pelvis, where a fetus grows. Enlarge Anatomy of the female reproductive system. The organs in the female reproductive system include the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, and vagina. The uterus has a muscular outer layer called the myometrium and an inner lining called the endometrium. Cancer of the endometrium is different from cancer of the muscle of the uterus, which is called sarcoma of the uterus. See the PDQ summary on Uterine Sarcoma Treatment for more information. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about endometrial cancer: Endometrial Cancer Screening Endometrial Cancer Treatment Uterine Sarcoma Treatment Endometrial cancer is the most common invasive cancer of the female reproductive system. Endometrial cancer is diagnosed most often in postmenopausal women at an average age of 60 years. Since 1992, the number of white women diagnosed with endometrial cancer has remained stable, but the number of new cases in black women has increased slightly. Endometrial cancer occurs more often in white women than in black women. When endometrial cancer is diagnosed in black women, it is usually more advanced and less likely to be cured. The number of deaths from endometrial cancer has stayed about the same in white women but has increased slightly in black women each year since 1998. Endometrial Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. The following risk factors may increase the risk of endometrial cancer: Estrogen Estrogen is a hormone made by the body. It helps the body develop and maintain female sex characteristics. Estrogen can affect the growth of some cancers, including endometrial cancer. A woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer is increased by being exposed to estrogen in the following ways: Estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy: Estrogen may be given to replace the estrogen no longer produced by the ovaries in postmenopausal women or women whose ovaries have been removed. This is called hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or hormone therapy (HT). The use of hormone replacement therapy that contains only estrogen increases the risk of endometrial cancer. For this reason, estrogen therapy alone is usually prescribed only for women who do not have a uterus. When estrogen is combined with progestin (another hormone), it is called combination estrogen-progestin replacement therapy. For postmenopausal women, taking estrogen in combination with progestin does not increase the risk of endometrial cancer, but it does increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots. Early menstruation: Beginning to have menstrual periods at an early age increases the number of years the body is exposed to estrogen and increases a woman’s risk of endometrial cancer. Late menopause: Women who reach menopause at an older age are exposed to estrogen for a longer time and have an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Never being pregnant: Because estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy, women who have never been pregnant are exposed to estrogen for a longer time than women who have been pregnant. This increases the risk of endometrial cancer. Tamoxifen Tamoxifen is one of a group of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMs. Tamoxifen acts like estrogen on some tissues in the body, such as the uterus, but blocks the effects of estrogen on other tissues, such as the breast. Tamoxifen is used to prevent breast cancer in women who are at high risk for the disease. However, using tamoxifen for more than 2 years increases the risk of endometrial cancer. This risk is greater in postmenopausal women. Raloxifene is a SERM that is used to prevent bone weakness in postmenopausal women. It does not have estrogen-like effects on the uterus and has not been shown to increase the risk of endometrial cancer. Other SERMs are being studied in clinical trials. Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer syndrome Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC) syndrome (also known as Lynch Syndrome) is an inherited disorder caused by changes in certain genes. Women who have HNPCC syndrome have a much higher risk of developing endometrial cancer than women who do not have HNPCC syndrome. Other inherited conditions Polycystic ovary syndrome (a disorder of the hormones made by the ovaries), and Cowden syndrome are inherited conditions that are linked to an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Body fat Obesity increases the risk of endometrial cancer. This may be because obesity is related to other risk factors such as estrogen levels, polycystic ovary syndrome, lack of physical activity, and a diet that is high in saturated fats. It is not known if losing weight decreases the risk of endometrial cancer. The following protective factors may decrease the risk of endometrial cancer: Combination oral contraceptives Taking contraceptives that combine estrogen and progestin (combination oral contraceptives) decreases the risk of endometrial cancer. The protective effect of combination oral contraceptives increases with the length of time they are used, and can last for many years after oral contraceptive use has been stopped. While taking oral contraceptives, women have a higher risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack, especially women who smoke and are older than 35 years. Physical activity Physical activity may lower the risk of endometrial cancer. Pregnancy and breast-feeding Estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy and when breast-feeding. Being pregnant and/or breast-feeding may lower the risk of endometrial cancer. The risk of endometrial cancer may be lower in women who have a higher number of pregnancies and who breast-feed for more than 18 months. Diet A diet low in saturated fats and high in fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of endometrial cancer. The risk may also be lowered when soy -based foods are a regular part of the diet. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements. Esophageal Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 06/07/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Esophageal Cancer click to collapse contents Esophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the esophagus. The esophagus is the hollow, muscular tube that moves food and liquid from the throat to the stomach. The wall of the esophagus is made up of several layers of tissue, including mucous membrane, muscle, and connective tissue. Esophageal cancer starts in the inside lining of the esophagus and spreads outward through the other layers as it grows. Enlarge The stomach and esophagus are part of the upper digestive system. The two most common types of esophageal cancer are named for the type of cells that become malignant (cancerous): Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in squamous cells, the thin, flat cells lining the esophagus. This cancer is most often found in the upper and middle part of the esophagus but can occur anywhere along the esophagus. This is also called epidermoid carcinoma. Adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in glandular (secretory) cells. Glandular cells in the lining of the esophagus produce and release fluids such as mucus. Adenocarcinomas usually start in the lower part of the esophagus, near the stomach. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about esophageal cancer: Esophageal Cancer Screening Esophageal Cancer Treatment Esophageal cancer is found more often in men. Men are about three times more likely than women to develop esophageal cancer. The chance of developing esophageal cancer increases with age. Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus is more common in blacks than in whites. In the United States, the rates of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus have increased in the last 20 years. It is now more common than squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus. The rates of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus are decreasing. Esophageal Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. The following risk factors may increase the risk of esophageal cancer: Tobacco and alcohol use Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus is strongly linked with all types of tobacco and alcohol use. Stopping smoking can help lower the risk of this type of cancer. Gastric reflux and Barrett esophagus Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is strongly linked to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a condition in which the contents of the stomach back into the lower part of the esophagus. GERD may irritate the esophagus and, over time, cause Barrett esophagus. Barrett esophagus is a condition that affects the cells lining the lower part of the esophagus. These cells change or are replaced with abnormal cells, which can lead to adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. It is not known if surgery or other medical treatment to stop gastric reflux lowers the risk of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Clinical trials are being done to see if surgery or medical treatments can prevent Barrett esophagus. The following protective factors may decrease the risk of esophageal cancer: Avoiding tobacco and alcohol use Many studies have shown that the risk of esophageal cancer is lower in people who do not use tobacco and alcohol. Diet A diet high in green and yellow fruits and vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower) may lower the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs Some studies have shown that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may lower the risk of esophageal cancer. NSAIDS include aspirin and other drugs that reduce swelling and pain. Use of NSAIDs, however, increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, bleeding in the stomach and intestines, and kidney damage. Radiofrequency ablation Radiofrequency ablation is being studied in clinical trials for certain patients with Barrett esophagus. This procedure uses radio waves to heat and destroy abnormal cells, which may become cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements. Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 06/07/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer click to collapse contents Liver cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the liver. The liver is one of the largest organs in the body. It has four lobes and fills the upper right side of the abdomen inside the rib cage. Three of the many important functions of the liver are: To filter harmful substances from the blood so they can be passed from the body in stools and urine. To make bile to help digest fats from food. To store glycogen (sugar), which the body uses for energy. Enlarge Anatomy of the liver. The liver is in the upper abdomen near the stomach, intestines, gallbladder, and pancreas. The liver has four lobes. Two lobes are on the front and two small lobes (not shown) are on the back of the liver. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about liver (hepatocellular) cancer: Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer Screening Adult Primary Liver Cancer Treatment Childhood Liver Cancer Treatment Liver cancer is not common in the United States. Liver cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in the world. In the United States, men, especially Chinese American men, have an increased risk of liver cancer. The number of new cases of liver cancer and the number of deaths from liver cancer continue to increase, especially among middle-aged black, Hispanic, and white men. People are usually older than 40 years when they develop this cancer. Finding and treating liver cancer early may prevent death from liver cancer. Being infected with certain types of the hepatitis virus can cause hepatitis and increase the risk of liver cancer. Hepatitis is most commonly caused by the hepatitis virus. Hepatitis is a disease that causes inflammation (swelling) of the liver. Damage to the liver from hepatitis that lasts a long time can increase the risk of liver cancer. There are six types of the hepatitis virus. Hepatitis A (HAV), hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis C (HCV) are the three most common types. These three viruses cause similar symptoms, but the ways they spread and affect the liver are different. The Hepatitis A vaccine and the hepatitis B vaccine prevent infection with hepatitis A and hepatitis B. There is no vaccine to prevent infection with hepatitis C. If a person has had one type of hepatitis in the past, it is still possible to get the other types. Hepatitis viruses include: Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is caused by eating food or drinking water infected with hepatitis A virus. It does not lead to chronic disease. People with hepatitis A usually get better without treatment. Hepatitis B Hepatitis B is caused by contact with the blood, semen, or other body fluid of a person infected with hepatitis B virus. It is a serious infection that may become chronic and cause scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). This may lead to liver cancer. Blood banks test all donated blood for hepatitis B, which greatly lowers the risk of getting the virus from blood transfusions. Hepatitis C Hepatitis C is caused by contact with the blood of a person infected with hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C may range from a mild illness that lasts a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. Most people who have hepatitis C develop a chronic infection that may cause scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). This may lead to liver cancer. Blood banks test all donated blood for hepatitis C, which greatly lowers the risk of getting the virus from blood transfusions. Hepatitis D Hepatitis D develops in people already infected with hepatitis B. It is caused by hepatitis D virus (HDV) and is spread through contact with infected blood or dirty needles, or by having unprotected sex with a person infected with HDV. Hepatitis D causes acute hepatitis. Hepatitis E Hepatitis E is caused by hepatitis E virus (HEV). Hepatitis E can be spread through oral- anal contact or by drinking infected water. Hepatitis E is rare in the United States. Hepatitis G Being infected with hepatitis G virus (HGV) has not been shown to cause liver cancer. Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. The following risk factors may increase the risk of liver cancer: Hepatitis B and C Having chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C increases the risk of developing liver cancer. The risk is even greater for people with both hepatitis B and C. Also, the longer the hepatitis infection lasts (especially hepatitis C), the greater the risk. In a study of patients with chronic hepatitis C, those who were treated to lower their iron levels by having blood drawn and eating a low-iron diet were less likely to develop liver cancer than those who did not have this treatment. Cirrhosis The risk of developing liver cancer is increased for people who have cirrhosis, a disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue. The scar tissue blocks the flow of blood through the liver and keeps it from working as it should. Chronic alcoholism and chronic hepatitis C are the most common causes of cirrhosis. Aflatoxin The risk of developing liver cancer may be increased by eating foods that contain aflatoxin (poison from a fungus that can grow on foods, such as grains and nuts, that have not been stored properly). The following protective factor may decrease the risk of liver cancer: Hepatitis B vaccine Preventing hepatitis B infection (by being vaccinated for hepatitis B) has been shown to lower the risk of liver cancer in children. It is not yet known if it lowers the risk in adults. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements. New ways to prevent liver cancer are being studied in clinical trials. Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. Information about clinical trials can be found in the Clinical Trials section of the NCI Web site. Check NCI’s list of cancer clinical trials for liver cancer prevention trials that are now accepting patients. Español Lung Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 12/03/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Lung Cancer click to collapse contents Lung cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the lung. The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped breathing organs in the chest. The lungs bring oxygen into the body as you breathe in. They release carbon dioxide, a waste product of the body’s cells, as you breathe out. Each lung has sections called lobes. The left lung has two lobes. The right lung is slightly larger, and has three lobes. A thin membrane called the pleura surrounds the lungs. Two tubes called bronchi lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the right and left lungs. The bronchi are sometimes also involved in lung cancer. Tiny air sacs called alveoli and small tubes called bronchioles make up the inside of the lungs. Enlarge Anatomy of the respiratory system, showing the trachea and both lungs and their lobes and airways. Lymph nodes and the diaphragm are also shown. Oxygen is inhaled into the lungs and passes through the thin membranes of the alveoli and into the bloodstream (see inset). There are two types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about lung cancer: Lung Cancer Screening Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. More people die from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States, after skin cancer. The number of new cases and deaths from lung cancer is highest in black men. Lung Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent lung cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. The following are risk factors for lung cancer: Cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking Tobacco smoking is the most important risk factor for lung cancer. Cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking all increase the risk of lung cancer. Tobacco smoking causes about 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer in men and about 8 out of 10 cases of lung cancer in women. Studies have shown that smoking low tar or low nicotine cigarettes does not lower the risk of lung cancer. Studies also show that the risk of lung cancer from smoking cigarettes increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years smoked. People who smoke have about 20 times the risk of lung cancer compared to those who do not smoke. Secondhand smoke Being exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke is also a risk factor for lung cancer. Secondhand smoke is the smoke that comes from a burning cigarette or other tobacco product, or that is exhaled by smokers. People who inhale secondhand smoke are exposed to the same cancer -causing agents as smokers, although in smaller amounts. Inhaling secondhand smoke is called involuntary or passive smoking. Family history Having a family history of lung cancer is a risk factor for lung cancer. People with a relative who has had lung cancer may be twice as likely to have lung cancer as people who do not have a relative who has had lung cancer. Because cigarette smoking tends to run in families and family members are exposed to secondhand smoke, it is hard to know whether the increased risk of lung cancer is from the family history of lung cancer or from being exposed to cigarette smoke. HIV infection Being infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), is linked with a higher risk of lung cancer. People infected with HIV may have more than twice the risk of lung cancer than those who are not infected. Since smoking rates are higher in those infected with HIV than in those not infected, it is not clear whether the increased risk of lung cancer is from HIV infection or from being exposed to cigarette smoke. Environmental risk factors Radon exposure: Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in rocks and soil. It seeps up through the ground, and leaks into the air or water supply. Radon can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, or the foundation, and levels of radon can build up in the home. Studies show that high levels of radon gas inside homes and other buildings increase the number of new cases of lung cancer and the number of deaths caused by lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer is higher in smokers exposed to radon than in nonsmokers exposed to radon. In people who have never smoked, about 30% of deaths caused by lung cancer have been linked to being exposed to radon. Workplace exposure: Studies show that being exposed to the following substances increases the risk of lung cancer: Asbestos. Arsenic. Chromium. Nickel. Beryllium. Cadmium. Tar and soot. These substances can cause lung cancer in people who are exposed to them in the workplace and have never smoked. As the level of exposure to these substances increases, the risk of lung cancer also increases. The risk of lung cancer is even higher in people who are exposed and also smoke. Air pollution: Studies show that living in areas with higher levels of air pollution increases the risk of lung cancer. Beta carotene supplements in heavy smokers Taking beta carotene supplements (pills) increases the risk of lung cancer, especially in smokers who smoke one or more packs a day. The risk is higher in smokers who have at least one alcoholic drink every day. The following are protective factors for lung cancer: Not smoking The best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke. Quitting smoking Smokers can decrease their risk of lung cancer by quitting. In smokers who have been treated for lung cancer, quitting smoking lowers the risk of new lung cancers. Counseling, the use of nicotine replacement products, and antidepressant therapy have helped smokers quit for good. In a person who has quit smoking, the chance of preventing lung cancer depends on how many years and how much the person smoked and the length of time since quitting. After a person has quit smoking for 10 years, the risk of lung cancer decreases 30% to 50%. See the following for more information on quitting smoking: Smoking Home Page (Includes help with quitting) Cigarette Smoking: Health Risks and How to Quit Lower exposure to workplace risk factors Laws that protect workers from being exposed to cancer-causing substances, such as asbestos, arsenic, nickel, and chromium, may help lower their risk of developing lung cancer. Laws that prevent smoking in the workplace help lower the risk of lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke. Lower exposure to radon Lowering radon levels may lower the risk of lung cancer, especially among cigarette smokers. High levels of radon in homes may be reduced by taking steps to prevent radon leakage, such as sealing basements. It is not clear if the following decrease the risk of lung cancer: Diet Some studies show that people who eat high amounts of fruits or vegetables have a lower risk of lung cancer than those who eat low amounts. However, since smokers tend to have less healthy diets than nonsmokers, it is hard to know whether the decreased risk is from having a healthy diet or from not smoking. Physical activity Some studies show that people who are physically active have a lower risk of lung cancer than people who are not. However, since smokers tend to have different levels of physical activity than nonsmokers, it is hard to know if physical activity affects the risk of lung cancer. The following do not decrease the risk of lung cancer: Beta carotene supplements in nonsmokers Studies of nonsmokers show that taking beta carotene supplements does not lower their risk of lung cancer. Vitamin E supplements Studies show that taking vitamin E supplements does not affect the risk of lung cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements. Oral Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 01/09/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Oral Cancer click to collapse contents Oral cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lips, mouth, or throat. Oral cancer may form in any of three main areas: Lips. Oral cavity, which includes: The front two thirds of the tongue. The gingiva (gums). The buccal mucosa (the lining of the inside of the cheeks). The floor (bottom) of the mouth under the tongue. The hard palate (the front, bony part of the roof of the mouth). The retromolar trigone (the small area behind the wisdom teeth). Enlarge Anatomy of the oral cavity. The oral cavity includes the lips, hard palate (the bony front portion of the roof of the mouth), soft palate (the muscular back portion of the roof of the mouth), retromolar trigone (the area behind the wisdom teeth), front two-thirds of the tongue, gingiva (gums), buccal mucosa (the inner lining of the lips and cheeks), and floor of the mouth under the tongue. Oropharynx, which includes: The middle part of the pharynx (throat) behind the mouth. The back third of the tongue. The soft palate (the back, soft part of the roof of the mouth). The side and back walls of the throat. The tonsils. Most oral cancers start in squamous cells (thin, flat cells) that line the lips, oral cavity, and oropharynx. Cancer that forms in squamous cells is called squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma can form from lesions on the mucous membranes (the lining of the mouth and throat). These lesions include leukoplakia (an abnormal white patch of cells) and erythroplakia (an abnormal red patch of cells). In Western countries, such as the United States, the most common areas for oral cancer are the tongue and the floor of the mouth. Oral cancer is more common in men than in women. . Men are more than twice as likely as women to have oral cancer and die from it. Oral Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. The following are risk factors for oral cancer: Tobacco use Using tobacco is the leading cause of oral cancer. All forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and chewing (smokeless) tobacco, can cause oral cancer. For cigarette smokers, the risk of oral cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Tobacco use is most likely to cause oral cancer in the floor of the mouth, but also causes cancer in other parts of mouth and throat. The risk of oral cancer is greater in people who use both tobacco and alcohol than it is in people who use only tobacco or only alcohol. Tobacco users who have had oral cancer may develop second cancers in the oral cavity or nearby areas. These areas include the nose, throat, vocal cords, esophagus, and trachea (windpipe). This is because the oral cavity and nearby areas have been exposed to the harmful substances in tobacco, and new cancers may form over time. Alcohol use Using alcohol is a major risk factor for oral cancer. The risk of oral cancer increases with the number of alcoholic drinks consumed per day. The risk of oral cancer is about twice as high in people who have 3 to 4 alcoholic drinks per day compared to those who don’t drink alcohol. The risk of oral cancer is higher in people who use both alcohol and tobacco than it is in people who use only alcohol or only tobacco. HPV infection Being infected with a certain type of HPV virus, especially HPV type 16, increases the risk of oral cancer. HPV infection is spread mainly through sexual contact. People who have many oral sex partners have a higher risk of HPV infection. The number of cases of oral cancer caused by HPV infection is small but increasing. Sun exposure Being exposed to sunlight may increase the risk of lip cancer. Lip cancer occurs most often on the lower lip. The following is a protective factor for oral cancer: Quitting smoking Studies have shown that when people stop smoking cigarettes, their risk of oral cancer decreases by one-half (50%) within 5 years. Within 10 years of quitting, their risk of oral cancer is the same as for a person who never smoked cigarettes. It is not clear whether avoiding certain risk factors will decrease the risk of oral cancer. Certain risk factors, such as drinking alcohol, HPV infection, and sun exposure, increase the risk of oral cancer. It may seem that by avoiding these risk factors, the chance of having oral cancer would decrease, but that has not been proven. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are done with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are done with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements. Español Ovarian Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 12/06/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Ovarian Cancer click to collapse contents Ovarian cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the ovaries. The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system. They are in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows). Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries make eggs and female hormones (chemicals that control the way certain cells or organs work in the body). Enlarge Anatomy of the female reproductive system. The organs in the female reproductive system include the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, and vagina. The uterus has a muscular outer layer called the myometrium and an inner lining called the endometrium. Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer of the female reproductive system. Since 1992, the number of new cases of ovarian cancer has stayed about the same. The number of deaths from ovarian cancer has slightly decreased since 2002. It is hard to find ovarian cancer early. Early ovarian cancer may not cause any symptoms. When symptoms do appear, ovarian cancer is often advanced. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about ovarian cancer: Ovarian Cancer Screening Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Treatment Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors Treatment Genetics of Breast and Ovarian Cancer Ovarian Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. The following risk factors may increase the risk of ovarian cancer: Family history of ovarian cancer A woman whose mother or sister had ovarian cancer has an increased risk of ovarian cancer. A woman with two or more relatives with ovarian cancer also has an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Inherited risk The risk of ovarian cancer is increased in women who have inherited certain changes in the following genes: BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Genes that are linked to hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC; Lynch syndrome). Hormone replacement therapy The use of estrogen -only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause increases the risk of ovarian cancer. The longer estrogen replacement therapy is used, the greater the risk may be. It is not clear whether the risk of ovarian cancer is increased with the use of HRT that has both estrogen and progestin. Fertility drugs The use of fertility drugs may be linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Talc The use of talc may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Talcum powder dusted on the perineum (the area between the vagina and the anus) may reach the ovaries by entering the vagina. Obesity Having too much body fat, especially during the teenage years, is linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Being obese is linked to an increased risk of death from ovarian cancer. Height Being taller than 5 feet 8 inches is linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. The following protective factors may decrease the risk of ovarian cancer: Oral contraceptives The use of oral contraceptives (“the pill”) lowers ovarian cancer risk. The longer oral contraceptives are used, the lower the risk may be. The decrease in risk may last up to 25 years after a woman has stopped using oral contraceptives. Taking oral contraceptives increases the risk of blood clots. This risk is higher in women who also smoke. There may be a slight increase in a woman’s risk of breast cancer during the time she is taking oral contraceptives. This risk decreases over time. Pregnancy and breastfeeding Pregnancy and breastfeeding are linked to a decreased risk of ovarian cancer. Ovulation stops or occurs less often in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Some experts believe that women who ovulate less often have a decreased risk of ovarian cancer. Bilateral tubal ligation or hysterectomy The risk of ovarian cancer is decreased in women who have a bilateral tubal ligation (surgery to close both fallopian tubes) or a hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus). Prophylactic oophorectomy Some women who have a high risk of ovarian cancer may choose to have a prophylactic oophorectomy (surgery to remove both ovaries when there are no signs of cancer). This includes women who have inherited certain changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or in the genes linked to hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC). (See the PDQ summary on Genetics of Breast and Ovarian Cancer for more information.) It is very important to have a cancer risk assessment and counseling before making this decision. These and other factors should be discussed: Early menopause: The drop in estrogen levels caused by removing the ovaries can cause early menopause. Symptoms of menopause include the following: Hot flashes. Night sweats. Trouble sleeping. Mood changes. Decreased sex drive. Heart disease. Vaginal dryness. Osteoporosis (decreased bone density). These symptoms may not be the same in all women. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be needed to lessen these symptoms. Risk of ovarian cancer in the peritoneum: Women who have had a prophylactic oophorectomy continue to have a small risk of ovarian cancer in the peritoneum (thin layer of tissue that lines the inside of the abdomen). This may occur if ovarian cancer cells had already spread to the peritoneum before the surgery or if some ovarian tissue remains after surgery. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements. Español Prostate Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 08/22/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Prostate Cancer click to collapse contents Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The prostate is just below the bladder (the organ that collects and empties urine) and in front of the rectum (the lower part of the intestine). It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen. Enlarge Anatomy of the male reproductive and urinary systems, showing the prostate, testicles, bladder, and other organs. As men age, the prostate may get bigger. A bigger prostate may block the flow of urine from the bladder and cause problems with sexual function. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is not cancer, but surgery may be needed to correct it. The symptoms of BPH or of other problems in the prostate may be like symptoms of prostate cancer. Enlarge Normal prostate and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). A normal prostate does not block the flow of urine from the bladder. An enlarged prostate presses on the bladder and urethra and blocks the flow of urine. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States. Prostate cancer is most common in older men. In the U.S., about one out of five men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die of it. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about prostate cancer: Prostate Cancer Screening Prostate Cancer Treatment Prostate Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. The following risk factors may increase the risk of prostate cancer: Age Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 50 years of age. The chance of developing prostate cancer increases as men get older. Family history of prostate cancer A man whose father, brother, or son has had prostate cancer has a higher-than-average risk of prostate cancer. Race Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in white men. African-American men with prostate cancer are more likely to die from the disease than white men with prostate cancer. Hormones The prostate needs male hormones to work the way it should. The main male sex hormone is testosterone. Testosterone helps the body develop and maintain male sex characteristics. Testosterone is changed into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme in the body. DHT is important for normal prostate growth but can also cause the prostate to get bigger and may play a part in the development of prostate cancer. Vitamin E The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) found that vitamin E taken alone increased the risk of prostate cancer. The risk continued even after the men stopped taking vitamin E. Folic acid Folate is a kind of vitamin B that occurs naturally in some foods, such as green vegetables, beans and orange juice. Folic acid is a man-made form of folate that is found in vitamin supplements and fortified foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals. A 10-year study showed that the risk of prostate cancer was increased in men who took 1 milligram (mg) supplements of folic acid. However, the risk of prostate cancer was lower in men who had enough folate in their diets. Dairy and calcium A diet high in dairy foods and calcium may cause a small increase in the risk of prostate cancer. The following protective factors may decrease the risk of prostate cancer: Folate Folate is a kind of vitamin B that occurs naturally in some foods, such as green vegetables, beans and orange juice. Folic acid is a man-made form of folate that is found in vitamin supplements and fortified foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals. A 10-year study showed that the risk of prostate cancer was lower in men who had enough folate in their diets. However, the risk of prostate cancer was increased in men who took 1 milligram (mg) supplements of folic acid. Finasteride and Dutasteride Finasteride and dutasteride are drugs used to lower the amount of male sex hormones made by the body. These drugs block the enzyme that changes testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Higher than normal levels of DHT may play a part in developing prostate cancer. Taking finasteride or dutasteride has been shown to lower the risk for prostate cancer, but it is not known if these drugs lower the risk of death from prostate cancer. The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) studied whether the drug finasteride can prevent prostate cancer in healthy men 55 years of age and older. This prevention study showed there were fewer prostate cancers in the group of men that took finasteride compared with the group of men that did not. Also, the men who took finasteride who did have prostate cancer had more aggressive tumors. The number of deaths from prostate cancer was the same in both groups. Men who took finasteride reported more side effects compared with the group of men that did not, including erectile dysfunction, loss of desire for sex, and enlarged breasts. The Reduction by Dutasteride of Prostate Cancer Events Trial (REDUCE) studied whether the drug dutasteride can prevent prostate cancer in men aged 50 to 75 years at higher risk for the disease. This prevention study showed there were fewer prostate cancers in the group of men who took dutasteride compared with the group of men that did not. The number of less aggressive prostate cancers was lower, but the number of more aggressive prostate cancers was not. Men who took dutasteride reported more side effects than men who did not, including erectile dysfunction, loss of desire for sex, less semen, and gynecomastia (enlarged breasts). The following have been proven not to affect the risk of prostate cancer, or their effects on prostate cancer risk are not known: Selenium and vitamin E The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) studied whether taking vitamin E and selenium (a mineral) will prevent prostate cancer. The selenium and vitamin E were taken separately or together by healthy men 55 years of age and older (50 years of age and older for African-American men). The study showed that taking selenium alone or selenium and vitamin E together did not decrease the risk of prostate cancer. Diet It is not known if decreasing fat or increasing fruits and vegetables in the diet helps decrease the risk of prostate cancer or death from prostate cancer. In the PCPT trial, certain fatty acids increased the risk of high-grade prostate cancer while others decreased the risk of high-grade prostate cancer. Multivitamins Regular use of multivitamins has not been proven to increase the risk of early or localized prostate cancer. However, a large study showed an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer among men who took multivitamins more than seven times a week. Lycopene Some studies have shown that a diet high in lycopene may be linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer, but other studies have not. It has not been proven that taking lycopene supplements decreases the risk of prostate cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements. Español Skin Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 05/31/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Skin Cancer click to collapse contents Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the skin. The skin is the body’s largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but the two main layers are the epidermis (upper or outer layer) and the dermis (lower or inner layer). The epidermis is made up of 3 kinds of cells: Squamous cells are the thin, flat cells that make up most of the epidermis. Basal cells are the round cells under the squamous cells. Melanocytes are found throughout the lower part of the epidermis. They make melanin, the pigment that gives skin its natural color. When skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes make more pigment, causing the skin to tan, or darken. The dermis contains blood and lymph vessels, hair follicles, and glands. Enlarge Anatomy of the skin, showing the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. Melanocytes are in the layer of basal cells at the deepest part of the epidermis. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about skin cancer: Skin Cancer Screening Skin Cancer Treatment Melanoma Treatment There are several types of skin cancer. The most common types of skin cancer are squamous cell carcinoma, which forms in the squamous cells and basal cell carcinoma, which forms in the basal cells. Squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are also called nonmelanoma skin cancers. Melanoma, which forms in the melanocytes, is a less common type of skin cancer that grows and spreads quickly. Skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, but it is most common in areas exposed to sunlight, such as the face, neck, hands, and arms. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancer in the United States. The number of new cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer appears to be increasing every year. These nonmelanoma skin cancers can usually be cured. The number of new cases of melanoma has been increasing for at least 30 years. Melanoma is more likely to spread to nearby tissues and other parts of the body and can be harder to cure. Finding and treating melanoma skin cancer early may help prevent death from melanoma. Skin Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. Being exposed to ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for skin cancer. Some studies suggest that being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and the sensitivity of a person’s skin to UV radiation are risk factors for skin cancer. UV radiation is the name for the invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Sunlamps and tanning beds also give off UV radiation. Risk factors for nonmelanoma and melanoma cancers are not the same. Risk factors for nonmelanoma skin cancer: Being exposed to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time. Having a fair complexion, which includes the following: Fair skin that freckles and burns easily, does not tan, or tans poorly. Blue or green or other light-colored eyes. Red or blond hair. Having actinic keratosis. Past treatment with radiation. Having a weakened immune system. Being exposed to arsenic. Risk factors for melanoma skin cancer: Having a fair complexion, which includes the following: Fair skin that freckles and burns easily, does not tan, or tans poorly. Blue or green or other light-colored eyes. Red or blond hair. Being exposed to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time. Having a history of many blistering sunburns, especially as a child or teenager. Having several large or many small moles. Having a family history of unusual moles (atypical nevus syndrome). Having a family or personal history of melanoma. Being white. It is not known if the following lower the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer: Sunscreen use and avoiding sun exposure It is not known if nonmelanoma skin cancer risk is decreased by staying out of the sun, using sunscreens, or wearing protective clothing when outdoors. This is because not enough studies have been done to prove this. Sunscreen may help decrease the amount of UV radiation to the skin. One study found that wearing sunscreen can help prevent actinic keratoses, scaly patches of skin that sometimes become squamous cell carcinoma. The harms of using sunscreen are likely to be small and include allergic reactions to skin creams and lower levels of vitamin D made in the skin because of less sun exposure. It is also possible that when a person uses sunscreen to avoid sunburn they may spend too much time in the sun and be exposed to harmful UV radiation. Although protecting the skin and eyes from the sun has not been proven to lower the chance of getting skin cancer, skin experts suggest the following: Use sunscreen that protects against UV radiation. Do not stay out in the sun for long periods of time, especially when the sun is at its strongest. Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, sun hats, and sunglasses, when outdoors. Chemopreventive agents Chemoprevention is the use of drugs, vitamins, or other agents to try to reduce the risk of cancer. The following chemopreventive agents have been studied to find whether they lower the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer: Beta carotene Studies of beta carotene (taken as a supplement in pills) have not shown that it prevents nonmelanoma skin cancer from forming or coming back. Isotretinoin High doses of isotretinoin have been shown to prevent new skin cancers in patients with xeroderma pigmentosum. However, isotretinoin has not been shown to prevent nonmelanoma skin cancers from coming back in patients previously treated for nonmelanoma skin cancers. Treatment with isotretinoin can cause serious side effects. Selenium Studies have shown that selenium (taken in brewer’s yeast tablets) does not lower the risk of basal cell carcinoma, and may increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma. Celecoxib A study of celecoxib in patients with actinic keratosis and a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer found those who took celecoxib had slightly lower rates of recurrent nonmelanoma skin cancers. Celecoxib may have serious side effects on the heart and blood vessels. Alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) A study of alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) in patients with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer showed that those who took DFMO had lower rates of nonmelanoma skin cancers coming back than those who took a placebo. DFMO may cause hearing loss which is usually temporary. It is not known if the following lower the risk of melanoma: Sunscreen It has not been proven that using sunscreen to prevent sunburn can protect against melanoma caused by UV radiation. Other risk factors such as having skin that burns easily, having a large number of benign moles, or having atypical nevi may also play a role in whether melanoma forms. Counseling and protecting the skin from the sun It is not known if people who receive counseling or information about avoiding sun exposure make changes in their behavior to protect their skin from the sun. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements. Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) Last Modified: 08/22/2013 Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterMore Sharing Services What is prevention? click to expand contents General Information About Stomach Cancer click to collapse contents Stomach (gastric) cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the stomach. The stomach is a J-shaped organ in the upper abdomen. It is part of the digestive system, which processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) in foods that are eaten and helps pass waste material out of the body. Food moves from the throat to the stomach through a hollow, muscular tube called the esophagus. After leaving the stomach, partly-digested food passes into the small intestine and then into the large intestine. Enlarge The stomach and esophagus are part of the upper digestive system. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about stomach cancer: Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Screening Gastric Cancer Treatment In the United States, the number of new cases of stomach cancer has stayed about the same since 2005. Since 2005, the number of new cases of stomach cancer in the United States has stayed about the same. Men are twice as likely as women to be diagnosed with stomach cancer. Stomach cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the world. The number of deaths from stomach cancer has decreased over many years, especially in the United States. Black men are more than twice as likely as white men to die from stomach cancer. Stomach Cancer Prevention click to collapse contents Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent stomach cancer. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer. The following are risk factors for stomach cancer: Certain medical conditions Having any of the following medical conditions may increase the risk of stomach cancer: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection of the stomach. Intestinal metaplasia (a condition in which the cells that line the stomach are replaced by cells that normally line the intestines). Chronic atrophic gastritis (thinning of the stomach lining caused by long-term inflammation of the stomach). Pernicious anemia (a type of anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency). Stomach (gastric) polyps. Certain genetic conditions Genetic conditions may increase the risk of stomach cancer in people with any of the following: A mother, father, sister, or brother who has had stomach cancer. Type A blood. Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC; Lynch syndrome). Diet The risk of stomach cancer may be increased in people who: Eat a diet low in fruits and vegetables. Eat a diet high in salted or smoked foods. Eat foods that have not been prepared or stored the way they should be. Environmental causes Environmental factors that may increase the risk of stomach cancer include: Being exposed to radiation. Working in the rubber or coal industry. The risk of stomach cancer is increased in people who come from countries where stomach cancer is common. The following are protective factors that may decrease the risk of stomach cancer: Stopping smoking Studies show that smoking is linked with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Stopping smoking or never smoking decreases the risk of stomach cancer. Smokers who stop smoking lower their risk of having stomach cancer over time. Treating Helicobacter pylori infection Studies show that chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria is linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer. When H. pylori bacteria infects the stomach, the stomach may become inflamed and cause changes in the cells that line the stomach. Over time, these cells become abnormal and may become cancer. Some studies show that treating H. pylori infection with antibiotics lowers the risk of stomach cancer. More studies are needed to find out whether treating H. pylori infection with antibiotics lowers the number of deaths from stomach cancer or keeps changes in the stomach lining, that can lead to cancer, from getting worse. It is not known if the following factors lower the risk of stomach cancer or have no effect on the risk of stomach cancer: Diet Not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables is linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer. Some studies show that eating fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C and beta carotene may lower the risk of stomach cancer. Studies also show that whole-grain cereals, carotenoids, green tea, and substances found in garlic may lower the risk of stomach cancer. Studies show that eating a diet with a lot of salt may increase the risk of stomach cancer. Many people in the United States now eat less salt to lower their risk of high blood pressure. This may be why rates of stomach cancer have decreased in the U.S. Dietary supplements It is not known if taking certain vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements helps lower the risk of stomach cancer. In China, a study of beta carotene, vitamin E, and selenium supplements in the diet showed a lower number of deaths from stomach cancer. The study may have included people who did not have these nutrients in their usual diets. It is not known if increased dietary supplements would have the same effect in people who already eat a healthy diet. Other studies have not shown that taking dietary supplements such as beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, or selenium lowers the risk of stomach cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are done with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are done with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer. The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements.

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About garyskeete

ASHWORTH MEDICINE-Professional Medical Assisting, Doctor of Science,Legal Assistant Diploma BSc Criminal Justice
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