American Cancer Society Encourages Men to Get the Facts About Cancer

This Father’s Day, the American Cancer Society reminds men of the importance of cancer awareness. Colon, lung, and skin cancers can be prevented, and men should be informed of the risks related to prostate cancer screening.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men. Smoking is the cause of more than 80 percent of all lung cancers and more than 30 percent of all cancers. The health benefits of quitting are immediate, even for long-term smokers.

Colon cancer is the third most deadly cancer for men, and it is highly preventable through screening where pre-cancerous polyps can be removed before becoming cancerous. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women age 50 and older be screened for colon cancer. While colon cancer deaths have been decreasing over the past two decades due to increased screening rates, still about 50 percent of people over the age of 50 do not seek screening.

Skin cancers are the most commonly diagnosed cancer. While most skin cancers are easily treated, melanoma can be serious. Sun exposure is a factor in most skin cancers and men are encouraged to avoid damage to the skin such as tanning and sunburns. Many of the more than two million skin cancers that are diagnosed every year could be prevented by protecting the skin from intense sun exposure and by avoiding indoor tanning.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (besides skin cancer) and most occurs in men over the age of 65. Having one or more close relatives with prostate cancer increases a man’s risk of having it. For reasons still unknown, African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer. Because most prostate cancers are slow-growing and the treatment for the disease can be risky, the American Cancer Society recommends that men age 50 and older make an informed decision with their doctor about whether or not to be tested for the disease. African-American men, or men with a family history of prostate cancer, should receive this information at age 45. Men should not be tested without learning about the risks associated with testing and treatment.

This Father’s Day, the American Cancer Society encourages men to get the facts about cancer. Call 1-800-227-2345 for more information or find us on the web at: http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/FindCancerEarly/MensHealth/index

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Join the American Cancer Society for the Great American Smokeout® on November 17 and Beat the Urge to Smoke

As the official sponsor of birthdays, the American Cancer Society marks the 36th Great American Smokeout on November 17 by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. According to an American Cancer Society report[1], smokers who quit can expect to live up to ten years longer than those who continue to smoke. Quitting is hard, but smokers can increase their chances of success with help.  The American Cancer Society has many tools and tips to help smokers beat the urge to smoke when the cravings hit at www.cancer.org/Smokeout, such as a crave button and a quit clock to help smokers plan towards kicking the habit for good.

            Research shows that much of the risk of premature death from smoking could be prevented by quitting. Smokers who quit, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke. Smokers who quit reduce their risk of lung cancer – ten years after quitting, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. Quitting also lowers the risk for other major diseases including heart disease and stroke.

            “Quitting smoking is an important step towards reducing your cancer risk and celebrating more birthdays,” said Mike Lefler, Director of Communications for the Nebraska Region of the American Cancer Society. “The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout provides great tips and tools to help you beat the urge to smoke. There has never been a better time to quit- we can help!”

             The American Cancer Society created the trademarked concept for and held its first Great American Smokeout in 1976 as a way to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for a day.  One million people quit smoking for a day at the 1976 event inCalifornia. The Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to commit to making a long-term plan to quit smoking for good.

Important facts about tobacco use:

  • Tobacco use remains the world’s most preventable cause of death.
  • Cigarette smoking accounts for about 443,000 premature deaths – including 49,400 in nonsmokers.
  • Thirty percent of cancer deaths, including 87 percent of lung cancer deaths, can be attributed to smoking.
  • Smoking accounts for more than $193 billion in health care expenditures and productivity losses annually.


[1] Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2011

Everyday Steps to Help Lower Your Cancer Risk

Every April the American Cancer Society and other organizations work together to raise awareness about cancer among minorities in honor of National Minority Health Month and National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, celebrated this year April 17-23. While minority groups in the United States continue to bear a greater cancer burden than whites, there are things everyone can do to help reduce their cancer risk or improve their chances of beating the disease if they do get it.

1. Get regular cancer screening tests.
Regular screening tests can catch some cancers early, when they’re more treatable. With a few cancers, these tests can even prevent cancer from developing in the first place. Talk with your doctor about the tests for colon, prostate, breast, and cervical cancers.

2. Control your weight.
Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for many cancers, including breast, colorectal, uterine, esophageal, and kidney. You can control your weight by exercising regularly and eating more healthfully.

3. Exercise regularly.
Physical activity has been shown to lower the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer. It also reduces the risk of other serious diseases like diabetes and heart disease. The Society recommends adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on 5 or more days a week; 45 minutes to an hour is ideal.

4. Eat healthfully.
Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables (including legumes) and fruits each day. Aim for at least 3 servings of whole grains each day. Cutting back on processed and red meats may also help reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancers.

5. Stop smoking.
Smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body, is linked to at least 15 different cancers, and accounts for some 30 percent of all cancer deaths. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones.

Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff