Prevention, Detection, & Diagnosis
Cancer can be caused by a variety of factors and may develop over a number of years. Some risk factors can be controlled. Choosing the right health behaviors and preventing exposure to certain environmental risk factors can help prevent the development of cancer.
General Cancer Prevention Information:
- Cancer Prevention Overview (PDQ®)
[ patient ] [ health professional ]
General information about cancer prevention and descriptions of the concepts used in cancer-specific prevention summaries.
- Cancer Trends Progress Report: Prevention
This section of the report focuses on factors that can affect a person's risk of getting cancer. Has information on adult and youth smoking, alcohol and fat consumption, certain chemicals in the environment, and other topics.
- For more specific cancer prevention information, click HERE
Some types of cancer can be found before they cause symptoms. Checking for cancer (or for conditions that may lead to cancer) in people who have no symptoms is called screening. Screening can help doctors find and treat some types of cancer early. Generally, cancer treatment is more effective when the disease is found early. However, not all types of cancer have screening tests and some tests are only for people with specific genetic risks.
Overview of Cancer Screening and Testing
- Cancer Screening Overview (PDQ®)
Information about measuring the effectiveness of cancer screening tests and weighing the evidence from screening research studies.
- What You Need To Know About™ Cancer: Screening
Describes possible risks, screening, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for cancer.
- A Conversation with Dr. Virginia Moyer
Article from Nov. 27, 2012 Cancer Bulletin from the chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) about the task force’s mandate, challenges, and lessons learned.
- Crunching the Numbers: What Screening Statistics Really Tell Us
Article from May 1, 2012 Cancer Bulletin about the statistics that are used to describe the results of screening studies.
- For more information on types of screening and screening for specific types of cancer, click HERE.
- Cancer Staging - A fact sheet that explains the process of grouping cancer cases in categories (stages) based on the size of the tumor and the extent of the cancer in the body.
- Computed Tomography (CT) Scans and Cancer - A fact sheet that describes the CT scan procedure and technology and its uses in diagnosis, screening, and treatment.
- Interpreting Laboratory Test Results - A fact sheet that describes the role of screening and diagnostic laboratory tests. Includes a brief discussion of factors affecting the results.
- Mammograms - A fact sheet that defines screening and diagnostic mammograms and outlines mammography screening guidelines. Discusses the benefits and some potential harms of screening mammograms.
- Pap and HPV Testing - A fact sheet that describes cervical cancer screening, which includes the Pap test and HPV testing. The fact sheet includes information about cervical cancer screening guidelines.
- Pathology Reports - A fact sheet that describes the type of information that may be found in a pathology report, the document that contains results of the visual and microscopic examination of tissue removed during a biopsy or surgery.
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test - A fact sheet that describes the PSA screening test for prostate cancer and explains the benefits and limitations of the test.
- Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - A fact sheet that describes the sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) procedure, its use in determining the extent, or stage, of cancer in the body, and the results of research on the use of SLNB in breast cancer and melanoma.
- Tests to Detect Colorectal Cancer and Polyps - A fact sheet that discusses the advantages and disadvantages of several colorectal cancer screening tests.
- Tumor Grade - A fact sheet that discusses tumor grade and its role in prognosis. Explains concepts like normal cell biology and cell differentiation.
- Tumor Markers - A fact sheet that defines tumor markers and describes how they can be used to aid diagnosis and treatment.