Cancer Screening and Prevention

Forty-two percent of specific cancers can be prevented through a combination of proper screening and healthy lifestyle choices. Regular screening may find breast, cervical, and colorectal (colon) cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best.

Types of Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer

Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat.

Cervical Cancer

A Pap test can find abnormal cells in the cervix which may turn into cancer. The HPV (human papillomavirus) test looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes. Pap tests also can find cervical cancer early, when the chance of being cured is very high.

HPV vaccination is recommended at ages 11-12 to protect against cancers caused by HPV infection.

Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.

Lung Cancer

The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for people who have a history of heavy smoking, and smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years, and are between 55 and 80 years old.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. It’s important to understand what type of skin cancer you may have as this affects your both your treatment options and your prognosis. If you have a family history or if you notice any abnormalities on your skin, please make sure to inform your primary care physician for evaluation.


Healthy Choices and Genetics

Combining regular screening with proper lifestyle choices is the best way to ward off preventable cancers. So is knowing your family history. Here are several ways to add prevention behaviors into your daily life:

Quit Smoking

Quitting tobacco is not easy, but it can be done. Munson Healthcare offers tobacco cessation classes and programs in locations around northern Michigan and can help connect you to other community-based resources.

Avoid Too Much Sun

We love spending time outdoors, especially in the summer. But too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure can result in damaging effects to the skin. Here are tips to help you protect yourself and your family from getting too much sun.

Healthy Diet and Exercise

The American Cancer Society shares the cancer-reducing benefits of good nutrition, regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight. Cowell Family Cancer Center’s health & wellness services can help provide guidance and tips to help you choose healthier options.

Understand Your Genetics

Clues to an inherited predisposition to cancer include an early age diagnosis, multiple family members with cancer, or more than one cancer diagnosis in someone’s lifetime. Learn more about cancer genetics and genetic counseling.