Cancer is the leading cause of death for men and women worldwide, according to the National Cancer Institute. Some types of cancer are more common in women than in men.

There is no sure way to prevent cancer but you can make lifestyle changes that may reduce your risk for developing cancer. Regular cancer screenings are essential, as an early diagnosis leads to prompt treatment and better outcomes.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the number one type of cancer among women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While it can develop at any age, your risk for breast cancer rises with age. Some women have a greater risk for breast cancer than others. To reduce your risk for breast cancer, limit your alcohol intake if you drink, lose weight if you are overweight or obese, exercise, stop using oral contraceptives and breastfeed your babies.

The CDC says that a mammogram, which is a type of x-ray of your breast, is the best way to find breast cancer early. Women aged 50 to 74 with an average risk for breast cancer should receive a mammogram every two years. Self-examination is also important.

Lung Cancer

While breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women, according to the American Lung Association. More men than women develop lung cancer but there are currently more women living with the disease. The rate of new cases of lung cancer has dropped among men in the past 37 years, but they have risen among women.

The best way to reduce your risk for lung cancer is to avoid smoking. Stop smoking, if you do smoke, and avoid inhaling secondhand smoke. Avoid radon, a radioactive gas known to cause lung cancer, emitted by soil and rock. Eat a healthy diet.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer includes cancers of the colon, otherwise known as the large intestine and rectum.

Lifestyle changes can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer. Lose weight if you are overweight or obese, as the risk for developing or dying from colorectal cancer is higher in those who are overweight. Become more active. Avoid red and processed meats, and increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Quit smoking, if you smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke. Limit alcohol intake.

Screening for colorectal cancer includes colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy that use a flexible tube and camera to see inside your intestine, and high-sensitivity fecal occult which looks for the presence of blood in your stool. Screening should begin when you are 50 and continue until you are 75.

Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in women living in the United States, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncologist’s website, Cancer.net. This year, doctors will diagnose approximately 60,050 women with uterine endometrial cancer, which is cancer of the inner lining of the uterus. Only 50,560 women were diagnosed with the disease in 2013; the incidence of uterine endometrial cancer is increasing mainly because of the rise in obesity, which is a major risk factor for uterine endometrial cancer.

Lifestyle changes may reduce your risk for uterine cancer. Lose weight, as fatty tissue can produce hormones that increase your risk for uterine cancer. Control your diabetes if you have blood sugar problems.

To test for uterine cancer, doctors perform a physical exam, pelvic examination, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Biopsy tissue testing by a laboratory can confirm diagnosis.

For more information about cancer in women, or to make an appointment for cancer screening, contact Revere Health. Our team of compassionate and dedicated cancer care specialists offer complete oncology services and personalized care.

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