Moor Plastic Surgery

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer that women may face in their lifetime (except for skin cancer). It can occur at any age, but it is much more likely to occur after age 40 and as you get older. Some women - because of certain factors - may have a greater chance of having breast cancer than other women. But if you are getting older, you should know about breast cancer and what you can do about it.

What You Can Do
The best defense is to find breast cancer as early as possible, when it is easier to treat. Finding breast cancer early is called "early detection." The American Cancer Society recommends the following guidelines for early detection:

  • Women should have mammograms each year starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as they are in good health.
  • A breast exam by a doctor or nurse should be part of a regular health exam and should be done at least every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and older.
Women should report any breast change to their doctors without delay. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

Women at increased risk (those with family history, genetic tendency, and past breast cancer, for example) should talk with their doctor about having additional tests and starting their screening early. Your doctor also can explain the benefits and limits of screening tools.

Lung Cancer

Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, but some people who don't smoke can also have lung cancer. Smoking is the cause for more than 80 percent of all lung cancers.

What You Can Do
Lung cancer is one of the few cancers that can often be prevented. If you are a smoker, ask your doctor or nurse how they can help you quit. If you don't smoke, don't start. If your friends and loved ones are smokers, help them quit. For help quitting, call your American Cancer Society at 1-800-ASC-2345.

Colon Cancer

Any adult can have colon rectal cancer, but most colon cancers are found in people age 50 or older. People with a personal or family history of this cancer, or who have polyps in their colon or rectum, or those with inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to have colon cancer. Also, eating a diet mostly of high-fat foods (especially from animal sources), being overweight, smoking, and being inactive can make a person more likely to have colon cancer.

What You Can Do
Colon cancer almost always starts with a polyp. Testing can save lives by finding polyps before they become cancerous. If precancerous polyps are removed, colon cancer can be prevented. Eating low-fat diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables may also make you less likely to have colon cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends one of these five testing options for all people beginning at age 50:

  • Yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Yearly FOBT or FIT and flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years (preferred over either of the first two options alone)
  • Double contrast barium enema every five years
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
Your doctor can help you make a decision about the best tests for you. If you are more likely than others to have colon cancer, talk with your doctor about different testing options and what schedule is right for you.

Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer (cancer of lining of the uterus) occurs most often in women age 50 and older. Taking estrogen without progesterone, or taking tamoxifen for breast cancer treatment or to lower the risk for breast cancer, might increase a woman's chance for this disease. Having early onset of menstrual periods, late menopause, a history of infertility, or not having children can increase the risk, too. Women with a personal or family history of hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC) or polycystic ovary disease, or those who are obese are also more likely to have endometrial cancer.

What You Can Do
Watch for signs and symptoms, such as unusual spotting or bleeding not related to menstrual periods and report these to your doctor. Although the Pap test is very good at finding cancer of the cervix, it is not a reliable test for early diagnosis of endometrial cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends that yearly testing with endometrial biopsy be offered by age 35 to women who have or are likely to have hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer.

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is more likely to occur as women get older. Women who have never had children, who have unexplained infertility, or who had their first child after age 30 may be at increased risk for this cancer, as are women who have used estrogen alone as hormone replacement therapy. Women who have personal or family history of hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer, ovarian cancer, or breast cancer are also more likely to have this disease. However, women who do not have any of these conditions can still have ovarian cancer.

What You Can Do
There are no effective and proven tests today for finding ovarian cancer early (like mammograms for breast cancer). There are some tests that might be used in women who have a high chance of having ovarian cancer. You should see a doctor right away if you have persistent symptoms of swelling of the abdomen, digestive problems (including gas, loss of appetite, and bloating), abdominal pain feeling like you need to urinate all the time, pelvic pain, back pain, or leg pain. A pelvic exam should be a part of a woman's regular health exam.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer affect any woman who is or has been sexually active. It is much more likely to occur in women who have or have had a virus called the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is passed on through sex. Cervical cancer is also more likely to occur in women who smoke, have HIV or AIDS, have poor nutrition, and who do not have regular Pap tests.

What You Can Do
A Pap test can find changes in the cervix that can be treated before they become cancer. The Pap test is also very effective in finding cervical cancer early, when it is highly curable. The American Cancer Society recommends the following:

  • All women should begin Pap testing about three years after they begin having vaginal intercourse, but no later than age 21. Testing should be done every year with regular Pap test or every two years using the newer liquid-based Pap test.
  • Beginning at age 30, women who have had three normal Pap test results in a row may get tested every two to three years with either type of Pap test. But some doctors suggest that testing be done more often if a woman has certain conditions, such as HIV or a weak immune system.
  • Women over 30 may also get tested every three years with either type of Pap test plus the new HPV DNA test.
  • Women 70 years of age or older who have had three or more normal Pap test in a row and no abnormal Pap tests results in the last 10 years may choose to stop having cervical cancer testing.
  • Testing after a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) is not necessary unless the surgery was done as a treatment for cervical cancer.

Skin Cancer

Anyone who spends time in the sun can have skin cancer. People with fair skin, especially those with blonde or red hair, are more likely to get skin cancer than people with darker coloring. People who have a close family member with a melanoma and those who had severe sunburns before the age of 18 are more likely to get this type of skin cancer.

What You Can Do
Most skin cancers can be prevented by avoiding the midday sun. When in the sun, wear hats with brims, long sleeved shirts, and sunglasses, and use sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher on all exposed parts of the skin. If you have children, protect them from the sun and don't let them get sunburned. Be aware of all moles and spots on your skin and report any changes to your doctor right away. Have a skin exam during your regular health checkups.

The best defense against cancer is early detection - finding a cancer early before it has spread - gives you the best chance to do something about it. Knowing about these cancers and what you can do can save your life.

© American Cancer Society, Inc.