Prevention & Screening
Cancer is not one disease, but rather a group of related diseases that can start in one area of the body and then spread.
Our bodies are made of cells. Normal, healthy cells will die when damaged or worn, and new ones will replace them. With cancer, the worn and damaged cells survive, and new cells develop where they are not needed. The malignant cells grow with abnormal speed, replicate themselves and intrude on normal tissue. If they continue growing and dividing, they can form tissue masses called tumors.
Beyond causing problems in the initial area, the cancerous tumors can metastasize, or dispatch cells that travel to other parts of the body.
Certain variables in our genes, lifestyle and environment may increase or decrease our risk of developing cancer.
Cancer screening performed under the appropriate guidelines raises the likelihood cancer will be detected if present. The early detection of cancer can lead to increased treatment effectiveness.
If you’re committed to self-advocacy, you have influence over your health and well-being. It’s important to schedule annual wellness visits with your primary care physician and seek medical treatment for abnormal symptoms and conditions.
You may also find it helpful to research cancer risk factors and cancer screening recommendations.
Reducing Cancer Risk Factors
Making healthy choices can lower your risk of developing certain cancers. Here are ways to avoid some of the most suspected and understood contributors to cancer:
- Remain alert to your health and be aware of your family’s health history
- Refrain from use of tobacco
- Maintain a physically active lifestyle
- Achieve and hold a healthy body weight
- Eat a healthful diet rich with fruits, vegetables, beans and grains
- Limit or avoid alcohol consumption
- Protect your skin from the sun
- Keep current with immunizations, including hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV)
Preventive Screening and Cancer Detection
Preventive cancer screening is seeking the presence of cancer prior to the onset of symptoms. Screening and early detection can help prevent, treat or cure certain cancers before they have a chance to grow and spread.
Different cancer screenings may include:
Colonoscopy and Virtual Colonoscopy
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
Double-Contrast Barium Enema
Fecal Immunochemical Test
Fecal Occult Blood Test
Genetic Testing for Mutations of Genes
Imaging of Areas within the Body
Ovarian Cancer Screening
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test
Annual Lab Tests
Radiation Therapy Center at Riverwest
If your doctors determine that radiation therapy is appropriate for you, our patient-centric care team is here to treat, serve and support your cancer journey. Contact us at (630) 264-8580 to speak with one of our professionals or schedule a consultation.