Prevention & Screenings
Recommendations for Nutrition and Physical Activity
for Cancer Prevention
- Eat a variety of healthful foods, with an emphasis on plant sources. Eat five or more
servings of vegetables and fruits each day. Choose whole grains versus processed
(refined) grains and sugars. Limit consumption of processed meat and red meats,
especially those high in fat.
- Adopt a physically active lifestyle. Adults: Engage in at least moderate activity for
30 minutes or more on five or more days of the week; 45 minutes or more of moderate
to vigorous activity on five or more days per week may further enhance reductions
in the risk of breast and colon cancer. Children and adolescents: Engage in at
least 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at least five days
- Maintain a healthful weight throughout life. Balance caloric intake with physical
activity. Lose weight if you are currently overweight or obese.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit consumption.
How can Beebe help?
Cancer recovery and patient advocacy programs:
Jean & Joan New Reflection Center
- Internet access to cancer sites and education materials
- Wig bank program
- Relaxation/guided imagery
- Audio library
- Prosthesis fitting services and products
Beebe's Cancer Support Groups
- One-Day Cancer Retreats
- One-Day Bereavement Retreats
- Wellness Community
- Lymphedema Support Group
- Cancer Buddies Monthly Support Group
Programs in Association with the American Cancer Society
- I Can Cope
- Look Good Feel Better
- Reach to Recovery
American Cancer Society (ACS) Guidelines
the Early Detection of Cancer
The following cancer screening guidelines are recommended for those people at average
risk for cancer (unless otherwise specified) and without any specific symptoms.
People who are at increased risk for certain cancers may need to follow a different screening
schedule, such as starting at an earlier age or being screened more often. Those with
symptoms that could be related to cancer should see their doctor right away.
For people aged 20 or older having periodic health exams, a cancer-related checkup
should include health counseling and, depending on a person's age and gender, might
include exams for cancers of the thyroid, oral cavity, skin, lymph nodes, testes, and
ovaries, as well as for some non-malignant (non-cancerous) diseases.
Special tests for certain cancer sites are recommended as outlined below.
- Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
- Clinical breast exam (CBE) should be part of a periodic health exam, about every
three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
- Women should know how their breasts normally feel and report any breast change
promptly to their healthcare providers. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women
starting in their 20s.
- Women at high risk (greater than 20% lifetime risk) should get an MRI and a mammogram
every year. Women at moderately increased risk (15% to 20% lifetime risk)
should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of adding MRI screening
to their yearly mammogram. Yearly MRI screening is not recommended for women
whose lifetime risk of breast cancer is less than 15%.
Colon and Rectal Cancer
Beginning at age 50, both men and women at average risk for developing colorectal
cancer should use one of the screening tests below. The tests that are designed to find
both early cancer and polyps are preferred if these tests are available to you and you
are willing to have one of these more invasive tests. Talk to your doctor about which test
is best for you.
Tests that find polyps and cancer
- flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years*
- colonoscopy every 10 years
- double contrast barium enema every 5 years*
- CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years*
Tests that mainly find cancer
- fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year*,**
- fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year*,**
- stool DNA test (sDNA), interval uncertain*
* Colonoscopy should be done if test results are positive.
** For FOBT or FIT used as a screening test, the take-home multiple sample method should be used.
A FOBT or FIT done during a digital rectal exam in the doctor's office is not adequate for screening.
People should talk to their doctor about starting colorectal cancer screening earlier and/or
being screened more often if they have any of the following colorectal cancer risk factors:
- a personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
- a personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease or
- a strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps (cancer or polyps in a first-degree
relative [parent, sibling, or child] younger than 60 or in two or more
first-degree relatives of any age)
- a known family history of hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes such as familial
adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC)
- All women should begin cervical cancer screening about three years after they begin
having vaginal intercourse, but no later than when they are 21 years old. Screening
should be done every year with the 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 screened every two to three years. Another reasonable option for women over 30 is
to get screened every three years (but not more frequently) with either the conventional
or liquid-based Pap test, plus the HPV DNA test. Women who have certain risk factors
such as diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure before birth, HIV infection, or a weakened
immune system due to organ transplant, chemotherapy, or chronic steroid use should
continue to be screened annually.
- Women 70 years of age or older who have had three or more normal Pap tests in a row and no abnormal Pap test results in the last 10 years may choose to stop having
cervical cancer screening. Women with a history of cervical cancer, DES exposure
before birth, HIV infection, or a weakened immune system should continue to have
screening as long as they are in good health.
- Women who have had a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) may
also choose to stop having cervical cancer screening unless the surgery was done as
a treatment for cervical cancer or pre-cancer. Women who have had a hysterectomy
without removal of the cervix should continue to follow the guidelines above.
Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer
The American Cancer Society recommends that at the time of menopause, all women
should be informed about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer and strongly
encouraged to report any unexpected bleeding or spotting to their doctors. For women
with or at high risk for hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC), annual screening
should be offered for endometrial cancer with endometrial biopsy beginning at age 35.
Both the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination (DRE)
should be offered annually, beginning at age 50, to men who have at least a 10-year life
expectancy. Men at high risk (African-American men and men with a strong family of one
or more first-degree relatives [father, brothers] diagnosed before age 65) should begin
testing at age 45. Men at even higher risk, due to multiple first-degree relatives affected
at an early age, could begin testing at age 40. Depending on the results of this initial test,
no further testing might be needed until age 45.
Information should be provided to all men about what is known and what is uncertain
about the benefits, limitations, and harms of early detection and treatment of prostate
cancer so that they can make an informed decision about testing.
Men who ask their doctor to make the decision on their behalf should be tested. Discouraging
testing is not appropriate. Also, not offering testing is not appropriate.
American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2008. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2008.
Levin B, Lieberman DA, McFarland, et al. "Screening and Surveillance for the Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer and Adenomatous Polyps," 2008: A Joint Guideline from the American Cancer Society, the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology. Published online March 5, 2008. CA Cancer
J Clin. 2008;58.
Saslow D, Boetes C, Burke W, et al. for the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Advisory Group. American
Cancer Society guidelines for breast screening with MRI as an adjunct to mammography. CA Cancer J Clin. 2007;57:75–89.