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Cancer & Women

When it comes to the genders, it seems, cancer is an equal opportunity disease.

While slightly more men develop and die of cancer than do women, cancer still will be diagnosed in 1 of every 3 women during her lifetime. Each year, nearly 680,000 women in the United States develop a type of cancer, and more than 270,000 women die of the disease.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) lists cancers that most frequently affect women: Breast, Colon, Endometrial, Ovarian, Skin, Cervical, and Lung.

Knowing about these types of cancers so you can prevent them or detect them early is your best protection. For many cancers, you can do the following to help reduce your risk:

  • Don’t smoke or if you do smoke, quit!
    Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and is a major contributor to cancers of the lung, head and neck, bladder and other organs. Use of smokeless tobacco is not a safe substitute for smoking cigarettes. So-called spit tobacco is linked to cancers of the mouth and pharynx.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Get moving!
    Be moderately active at least 30 minutes on five or more days each week. To reduce the risk of breast or colon cancer, even more exercise may be better. But the most important change you can make is to move from sedentary to incorporating even a little activity into our daily routine.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

Sources for the information within this section include the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the American Society for Clinical Oncology.