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Topic of the Month: Cancer Control

Topic of the Month: Cancer Control

April is Cancer Control Month. Cancer prevention and risk-reduction strategies can greatly lower the physical, emotional, and financial burden of cancer and improve the overall health of cancer survivors, including lowering the risk of the cancer coming back or the formation of a second cancer.

Understanding Cancer Risk

A risk factor is anything that increases a person's likelihood of developing cancer. Although risk factors, such as smoking or a family history of cancer, often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. However, knowing your risk factors, discussing them with your health care team, and having a detailed family history taken by your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices. Read more

Cancer Screening

Some types of cancer can be found before they cause symptoms. Checking for cancer (or for conditions that may lead to cancer) in people who have no symptoms is called screening. Screening can help doctors find and treat some types of cancer early. Generally, cancer treatment is more effective when the disease is found early. Read more

Health Disparities and Cancer

Cancer affects different populations differently, and minority groups in the United States continue to bear a greater cancer burden than whites. Much of this difference is due to factors like poverty and lack of access to prevention/detection services and high-quality treatment, according to a report in Cancer Facts & Figures 2013, a yearly American Cancer Society publication. Read more


Cancer chemoprevention is the use of natural, synthetic (made in a laboratory), or biologic (from a living source) substances to reverse, suppress, or prevent the development of cancer. Chemoprevention is typically used by people who have a higher risk of developing cancer, including those with a previous cancer, an inherited cancer syndrome, or a family history of cancer. Read more

Diet and Nutrition

No single food or food component can protect you against cancer by itself. But strong evidence does show that a diet filled with a variety of plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans helps lower risk for many cancers. Read more

Physical Activity

Research studies show that physical activity lowers the risk of several types of cancers, including breast cancer and colon cancer. Physical activity reduces the risk of cancer in several ways, including lowering obesity, inflammation, and hormone levels and improving insulin resistance and immune system function. Read more

Tobacco and Cancer

Nearly everyone knows that smoking can cause lung cancer, but few people realize it is also linked to a higher risk for many other kinds of cancer too, including cancer of the mouth, nose, sinuses, lip, voice box (larynx), throat (pharynx), esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, ovary, cervix, stomach, colon, rectum, and acute myeloid leukemia. Read more

Additional Resources at the Lurie Cancer Center:

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