Prevention & Detection

Making healthy choices and being screened for cancer are keys to good health and could help reduce your risk of developing cancer and other illnesses.


Your overall health, including risk of cancer and other diseases, is affected by what you eat, how much you exercise, and other habits.

  • Stop smoking. Studies show that just 20 minutes after a smoker kicks the habit, both heart rate and blood pressure drop. And within 5 years, the risk of getting cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half. Click here for valuable tools that will help you successfully fight the urge to smoke.
  • Stay at a healthy weight to decrease your risk for developing several types of cancer. The best way to manage your weight is to make healthy food choices and incorporate exercise into your weekly routine. Health benefits increase when you lose even a small amount of weight.
  • Physical activity helps keep the body healthy. Adults should be active for at least 150 minutes each week, and children should be active for at least one hour per day.
  • Eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily gives your body antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and minerals, and can also help with weight control. When making healthy food choices, whole-grain is better than processed, or refined, grains, and lean meats are healthier than processed and red meat.
  • Limiting alcohol can help your overall health and in reducing your risk for cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends a maximum of 2 drinks per day for men, and 1 drink per day for women.


Early detection, or screening, is especially important if you have a family history of cancer and if you are prone to certain types of cancers. Finding cancer as early as possible helps doctors treat the disease before it can spread, and while it is still small.

  • Screenings can include:
  • Your doctor giving you a physical exam
  • Your doctor asking about and becoming familiar with your family medical history
  • Having lab work done to see if there are issues in your body
  • Having imaging procedures, such as X-rays, taken
  • Undergoing genetic testing to find any changes in your genes that may be linked to cancer

Certain screenings have been proven to reduce deaths from cancer, and are recommended for particular demographics. Click here to learn more about which screenings are recommended for your age and gender.

Learn more about these recommendations.