Cancer prevention and screening procedures can be valuable tools in identifying risk factors for developing cancer. Please check with your local cancer treatment center to learn what services are available in your area.
Breast Self-Exams are an important way for women to find breast cancer early, when it has the highest chance of being cured. Not every cancer can be found this way. Mammography misses at least 10% of breast cancers, so women should perform self examinations and report suspicious lumps to their doctors.
Mammograms are a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine a woman’s breasts. A mammogram is used to aid in the diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
Ductal Lavage is a procedure that determines whether women at high risk for breast cancer have evidence of atypical cells that place them at even higher risk for developing breast cancer. Over 95 percent of breast cancers begin in the lining of the milk duct system. The ductal lavage procedure collects cells from inside the milk ducts where most breast cancers begin. The cells are then analyzed under a microscope to determine whether or not they are normal.
Breast Cancer Risk Assessments are computerized evaluations for all women. By completing a brief questionnaire about family, reproductive and breast biopsy history, and other factors, participants can receive a five-year and lifetime risk assessment for breast cancer. This questionnaire can be completed by phone or office appointment. Women who are at high-risk can discuss their prevention options with one of the clinical coordinators.
Genetic Risk Evaluation And Testing Program is an in-depth service comprised of genetic counseling, genetic testing and computerized evaluations. Each participant meets with a certified genetics counselor-nurse and receives an individual written summary of their risk, plus a personal plan for monitoring and prevention options. The program includes education about the risk factors for cancer and analysis of personal and genetic family history including the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Genetic testing is performed only with the participant’s consent, and the results and implications are explained in detail upon completion of the testing.
For more information, please view our Genetic Testing Fact Sheet.
Colonoscopy allows a doctor to look inside the large intestine. The procedure is most often used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. For more information on colon and renal cancer, please view:
PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) Testing is a method whereby the doctor measures the amount of a protein called PSA in the blood. PSA is produced by the cells of the prostate gland. Normally PSA levels are low in the blood. However, prostate cancer and other benign conditions can increase PSA levels. The results of a PSA test may indicate that further prostate testing is needed.
Testicular self exam: Although rare overall, testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers in young men. It can be detected early with a high likelihood of cure by simple self exam. Any new masses or lumps should be brought to the attention of one’s primary care physician. Monthly self-exam is recommended for men who are at high risk for testicular cancer, such as those with a family history of testicular cancer or a history of an undescended testicle.
For more information, please view Cancer Types: Testicular Cancer
Screening for Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, & Prostate Cancer during physical exams is an effective way to check for possible signs of cancer. Since most people receive regular physical exams and check-ups, these are ideal opportunities for doctors to perform exams for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer.
Smoking cessation: There is no single more important step one can take to prevent cancer than to quit cigarette or other tobacco use. Tobacco use is associated with 15 different kinds of cancer and about 30% of all cancer deaths. Tobacco use also increases the risk for heart and chronic lung disease and for cancer in those who are regularly passively exposed to cigarette smoke. There are national programs readily available for advice and support. The easiest to access is the Quitline™ sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
Vaccination with Anti-HPV Vaccine can help prevent cancer of the cervix caused by the Human Papilloma virus. This includes most cervix cancers and is applicable to women who are or may become sexually active.
You can learn more about cancer prevention and early detection by visiting the American Cancer Society Web site. Please note that the information available through this link is not provided by Texas Oncology, and Texas Oncology does not necessarily endorse this information. All information provided through this link is for your reference only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your physician before acting or relying upon such information. The following fact sheets also have many helpful cancer prevention tips: