One in two men and one in three women in the US will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, which totals about 1.7 million new cancer cases just this year. Improvements in cancer screening and earlier detection have led to a 25 percent drop in the overall cancer death rate, yet more than 609,000 individuals are still expected to die from cancer in 2018.
Throughout the year, “awareness months” call attention to one organ-specific cancer or another, urging people to get screened or take other preventive measures. The messages are familiar: pink ribbons and breast cancer in October, “dress in blue” for colorectal cancer in March, and finally September calls attention to a host of cancers, including ovarian, gynecological and prostate cancers, as well as childhood cancers and blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphomas. These messages are incredibly important to patients and the loved ones of those diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer screenings work
When men and women undergo recommended, routine cancer screenings, they dramatically improve the chances of finding cancers early, when they can be most successfully treated. And screening for certain cancers, including colorectal and cervical, are preventative, as they allow for detection and removal of precancerous growths.
That’s why Stand Up To Cancer, with Genentech, Rally Health and the American Cancer Society, created Cancer Screen Week, held the first week of December. Rather than focus on a particular type of cancer, Cancer Screen Week is the annual call to action urging everyone to talk to their doctor and get their recommended cancer screenings, many of which may be covered by insurance. Information about Cancer Screen Week for the public, for employers, insurers and healthcare provides can be found at www.cancerscreenweek.org.
All Americans should find out what screenings are right for them and their loved ones. The Cancer Screen Week also links to www.getscreenednow.org, where you can easily learn which screenings are recommended based on your gender and age, and you can take the pledge to get screened.
Cancer screen week is a powerful reminder that through regular screenings, it is possible to continue reducing cancer’s deadly toll.