4 items tagged "cancer"

  • Are You at Risk?

    Stomach Cancer - Basic Information and Facts

    Gastric (stomach) cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the lining of the stomach. Stomach cancer is less common in the United States than in many parts of Asia, Europe, and Central and South America. Stomach cancer is a major cause of death in these parts of the world. In the United States, the number of new cases of stomach cancer has greatly decreased since 1930. The reasons for this are not clear, but may have to do with better food storage and changes in the diet, such as lower salt intake.

    • Stomach cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the world.
    • Men are twice as likely as women to be diagnosed with stomach cancer.
    • Black men are more than twice as likely as white men to die from stomach cancer.


    The following are risk factors for stomach cancer:

    Older age and having the following medical conditions may increase the risk of stomach cancer:
    • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection of the stomach.
    • Intestinal metaplasia (a condition in which the cells that line the stomach are replaced by cells that normally line the intestines).
    • Chronic atrophic gastritis (thinning of the stomach lining caused by long-term inflammation of the stomach).
    • Pernicious anemia (a type of anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency).
    • Stomach (gastric) polyps.
    Certain genetic conditions

    Genetic conditions may increase the risk of stomach cancer in people with any of the following:

    • A mother, father, sister, or brother who has had stomach cancer.
    • Type A blood.
    • Li-Fraumeni syndrome.
    • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
    • Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC; Lynch syndrome).

    The risk of stomach cancer may be increased in people who:

    • Eat a diet low in fruits and vegetables.
    • Eat a diet high in salted or smoked foods.
    • Eat foods that have not been prepared or stored the way they should be.
    Environmental causes

    Environmental factors that may increase the risk of stomach cancer include:

    • Being exposed to radiation.
    • Working in the rubber or coal industry.

    The risk of stomach cancer is increased in people who come from countries where stomach cancer is common.

    Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Screening

    Tests are used to screen for different types of cancer when a person does not have symptoms. There is no standard or routine screening test for stomach cancer. Screening tests for stomach cancer are being studied in clinical trials.

    Several types of screening tests have been studied to find stomach cancer at an early stage. These screening tests include the following:
    • Barium-meal gastric photofluorography
    • Upper endoscopy
    • Serum pepsinogen levels
    Scientists believe that people with certain risk factors may benefit from stomach cancer screening. These include:
    • Older people with chronic gastric atrophy or pernicious anemia.
    • Patients who have had any of the following:
      • Partial gastrectomy.
      • Polyps in the stomach.
      • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
      • Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC).
    • People who come from countries where stomach cancer is more common.

    For additional information, please refer to these links





  • Cervical Cancer Prevention


    The most important thing you can do to help prevent cervical cancer is to have regular screening tests starting at age 21.

    Screening Tests

    Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early—

    • The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
    • The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.

    Both tests can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic. If you have a low income or do not have health insurance, you may be able to get free or low-cost screening tests through CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Find out if you qualify.


    Screening Options

    You should get your first Pap test at age 21. If your test result is normal, you can wait three years for your next test.

    If you’re 30 years old or older, you have three options—

    • You can continue getting a Pap test only. If your test result is normal, you can wait three years for your next test.
    • You can get an HPV test only. If your test result is normal, you can wait five years for your next test.
    • You can get both an HPV and Pap test together. If your test results are normal, you can wait five years for your next tests.

    What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer?

    This video discusses the importance of knowing the signs and symptoms of gynecologic cancer.

    Early on, cervical cancer may not cause signs and symptoms. Advanced cervical cancer may cause bleeding or discharge from the vagina that is not normal for you, such as bleeding after sex. If you have any of these signs, see your doctor. They may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see your doctor.

    Use our Symptoms Diaries to track possible symptoms over a two-week timespan.

    Additional Information

    Reducing Your Risk of Cervical Cancer (CDC)

    Symptoms of Cervical Cancer (CDC)

    10 Things to Know About HPV and Cervical Cancer


  • Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives

    Get a Screening

    Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer. If you’re 50 to 75 years old, get screened for colorectal cancer regularly. If you’re younger than 50 and think you may be at high risk of getting colorectal cancer, or if you’re older than 75, ask your doctor if you should be screened.

    Robert’s Story

    “I never would have found it early if I hadn’t been screened,” said Robert, a survivor of colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum).

    Since Robert’s dad got colorectal cancer at age 45, when Robert went for his annual checkup, he asked his own doctor about getting screened. He got a screening test called a colonoscopy, a test that can show the whole colon and the best kind of test for Robert because of his family cancer history. The colonoscopy showed he had cancer.

    “People tell me that they are scared to get screened, but I think it’s scarier if you have a tumor that the doctor can’t remove,” Robert said. “If I hadn’t been screened, I wouldn’t have been able to see my son go off to college, or enjoy this next chapter of my life with my wife and family.”

    Fast Facts

    • Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
    • Every year, about 140,000 people in the United States get colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die of it.
    • Risk increases with age. More than 90% of colorectal cancers occur in people who are 50 years old or older.
    • Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. If you have symptoms, they may include blood in or on the stool, stomach pain that doesn’t go away, or losing weight and you don’t know why. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor.
    • There are several screening test options. Talk with your doctor about which is right for you.
    • Only about two-thirds of adults in the United States are up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening.

    Additional Information

    To read the full article on the Center's for Disease Control's website, click here.

  • Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

    2017Awareness header

    Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all major caners. It is the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States surpassing breast cancer. It is expected to become the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death in the US by the year 2020, surpassing colorectal cancer.

    Pancreatic Cancer Facts

    • In 2019 an estimated 56,770 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the
      U.S., and more than 45,750 will die from the disease.
    • Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved
      substantially for more than 40 years.
    • Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. For all stages
      combined, 91% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis – only
      9% will survive more than five years.
    • Few risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer are defined. The risk for cigarette
      smokers is twice that for those who have never smoked. Family history of pancreatic
      cancer, chronic pancreatitis, alcohol use, obesity and diabetes are risk factors. Individuals
      with Lynch syndrome and certain other genetic syndromes, as well as BRCA1 and BRCA2
      mutation carriers, are also at increased risk.
    • Pancreatic cancer may cause only vague symptoms that could indicate many different
      conditions within the abdomen or gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include pain (usually
      abdominal or back pain), weight loss, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), loss of
      appetite, nausea, changes in stool, and diabetes.
    • Treatment options for pancreatic cancer: Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy
      are treatment options that extend survival or relieve symptoms, but seldom produce a
      cure. Surgical removal of the tumor is possible in less than 20% of patients diagnosed with
      pancreatic cancer because detection is often in late stages and has spread beyond the
      pancreas. Adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy (and sometimes radiation) may lower
      the risk of recurrence. For advanced disease, chemotherapy (sometimes along with a
      targeted drug therapy) may lengthen survival. Clinical trials are testing several new agents
      for their ability to improve survival.
    • Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death largely because there are no
      detection tools to diagnose the disease in its early stages when surgical removal of the
      tumor is still possible.

    *Source for statistics: American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts & Figures 2019.


    Take the Risk Assessment Test

    Start the Test Here


    Additional Information

    For additional information about pancreatic cancer, visit these links:




Express Scripts
TaxSaver Plan
One America
Hodges-Mace / Alight