Cancer Prevention Month

Feb. 14, 2023

February is National Cancer Prevention Month! More than 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed and nearly half of all deaths from cancer in the United States can be attributed to preventable causes – things like smoking, excess body weight, physical inactivity, and excessive exposure to the sun. 

The Mayo Clinic, a leading institution in cancer research, has released a list of tips to reduce your risk of cancer:

  1. Don’t use tobacco
    1. Smoking has been linked to many types of cancer, including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, voice box, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Even being around secondhand smoke might increase the risk of lung cancer.
  2. Eat a healthy diet
    1. Although eating healthy foods can’t ensure cancer prevention, it might reduce the risk. Try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink alcohol only in moderation, and limit your intake of processed meats. 
  3. Protect yourself from the sun
    1. Arizona has an average of 300 sunny days a year, and with high UV rays, it creates a greater potential for skin cancer. To prevent skin cancer, avoid being in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm, cover your skin, and wear at least 30 SPF sunscreen!
  4. Get regular medical care
    1. Doing regular self-exams and having screenings for cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix, and breast — can raise the chances of finding cancer early. That's when treatment is most likely to succeed. Ask a healthcare provider about the best cancer screening schedule for you.


Additional information for healthcare workers: The American Association for Cancer Prevention offers a Cancer Prevention Working Group to spotlight and strengthen awareness of cancer prevention as an essential mechanism in cancer control and to establish cancer prevention as a global priority supported by improved funding, the very latest technologies, and best educational strategies.