According to the American Cancer Society, one in three people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting cancer.
What Is Cancer Prevention and Screening?
The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests that up to 50% of cancers are preventable. When it comes to cancer, prevention has the power to save more lives than even the most up-to-date treatment. You can cut your cancer risk through healthy lifestyle choices, vaccinations and screenings.
At Luminis Health, our goal is to stop cancer in its early stages — or even before it begins — through prevention programs and regular cancer screenings. If you're uninsured or underinsured, we have programs and services that can help cover screening costs.
We're dedicated to lowering your risk factors for many types of cancer. We offer support to quit smoking and make other healthy lifestyle choices, giving you the best odds of a healthy, cancer-free life.
Why Luminis Health for Cancer Prevention and Screening?
At Luminis Health, we place a high priority on cancer prevention and screening. We offer:
Cancer prevention programs. We offer workshops, education, and outreach programs. For example, in 2020 we held 105 community events on tobacco and vaping, reaching thousands of people.
Special cancer screenings. We offer annual screenings to people at high risk for certain cancers, such as lung cancer. In 2020, we diagnosed 18 people with lung cancer after screening with the low-dose CT scan.
Genetic counseling. Our highly trained genetic counselors can evaluate your risk of getting cancer and suggest lifestyle changes based on your family history.
Screening for early detection
Some cancers don't cause any symptoms in the early stages. By the time you have symptoms, the cancer may have spread or be difficult to treat. A simple screening test can catch many of these cancers early on.
Early detection through screening leads to greater survival rates for breast, colorectal, lung and cervical cancer. Another bonus: If doctors find the cancer in its early stages, you may have the option of having less invasive treatments.
Types of Cancer Screening
Regular screenings are the best way to ensure the early detection of cancer. Cancer screening may include:
- An annual physical exam and review of your medical history with your primary care provider.
- Self exams, such as those done of your skin or breasts.
- Imaging tests like x-rays, MRIs and mammograms.
- Genetic testing with a blood test. Genetic testing is not a routine screening, but may be used if you have a high risk of certain cancers.
- Other laboratory blood tests.
- Other tests for specific types of cancer, such as a colonoscopy for colorectal cancer or a pap test for cervical cancer.
Even if you don't have a high risk of developing cancer, we recommend routine screenings. These screening tests have been shown to detect early signs of cancer and save lives. We routinely screen for:
- Breast cancer.
- Cervical cancer.
- Colorectal cancer.
- Lung cancer.
It's important to have a conversation with your doctor about what screening tests are right for you, at what age you should have them and how often they need to be repeated.
Breast imaging tests help us diagnose lumps in the breast. While cancer is the big worry, many lumps turn out to be cysts or non-cancer masses.
Doctors order CT scans to understand symptoms and monitor cancer. CT scans can even catch diseases before they cause problems.
Lifestyle Changes for Cancer Prevention
Simple lifestyle choices can make a big difference in decreasing your odds of getting cancer. It's not always easy, but it's worth making even small changes to reduce your cancer risk.
At Luminis Health, we're here to encourage and support healthy lifestyle options. We recommend you:
Avoid tobacco in any form. Learn how to quit with our tobacco cessation program.
Become more active.
Eat a healthy diet (fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins).
Reduce the amount of red meat you eat and avoid processed meats and foods.
Schedule screenings for early detection of cancer.
Attend educational programs and classes about early detection and treatment of cancer.
Avoid or reduce your alcohol intake.
Cancer Screening for Survivors
At Luminis Health, we pay special attention to cancer survivors through our survivorship program. After cancer treatment, we want to provide you with the best chance of preventing cancer from coming back or another cancer from developing.
Your follow-up care includes regular checkups with your primary care doctor, your oncologist or a cancer survivor specialist. Your provider discusses how often you should be screened and what kind of screening you need.
For more information about our cancer prevention services, please call the Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center at (443) 481-5366, or contact the Luminis Health Doctors Community Medical Center at (301) 552-7915.