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Ten Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Cancer Risk
Date:4/4/2008

igible for a breast MRI and ultrasound as recommended by their physician.

* Prostate: Starting at age 50 (or younger if at high risk), all men should have an annual physical exam (including a digital-rectal exam) and a blood test to check for blood levels of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, which when elevated can be an indication of prostate cancer.

* Cervix: Cervical-cancer screening (cervical sampling for Pap smear and human papillomavirus testing) should start as soon as a woman is sexually active and should continue throughout life with frequency depending on the woman's risk and age.

* Skin: All adults should have a yearly skin exam by their primary care doctor. Those at high risk should have annual skin-cancer screening performed by a dermatologist. Persons at high risk for melanoma or other skin cancer should examine their own skin monthly.

-- Keep your alcohol consumption low. This means no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Alcohol use increases risk for several cancers including those of the breast, esophagus, colon, pancreas, and head and neck. Keeping your alcohol intake to the minimum daily level doesn't mean that you can "save up" all your drinks for a week and binge on Friday night with your weekly "allotment." This type of binge drinking is dangerous because it reduces your ability to make rational decisions, and it increases your risk of injury and of acute heart failure.

-- Protect your skin from the sun. Use sunscreen every time you go outdoors (preferably one with an SPF of 30 or higher that protects against both UVA and UVB rays). Keep covered with a broad hat and sunglasses, keep the amount of exposed skin to a minimum and limit time in the sun when it is the strongest (usually 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Remember that sun rays penetrate car and other windows, so you should use sunscreen any time you'll be getting sun exposure through a window. Never use a tanning bed, as
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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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