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Putting Cancer Prevention into Practice

While cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, more than half of all cancers are preventable by changing modifiable risk factors. Prevention methods for changing behavior in the areas of tobacco use, exposure to infections, nutrition, obesity and physical activity have been shown to reduce the risk of getting cancer. Routine cancer screenings can also help diagnose patients early, leading to less radical treatments, higher potential for cure and a reduction of treatment cost to the patient and the Military Health System. As the population ages, health care professionals must continue to encourage patients to practice healthy behaviors.

As a provider, there are several things you can do to make a difference: 

  • Continue to stress the importance of cancer prevention at every patient visit. 
  • Educate patients about modifying certain behaviors to help reduce the risk of getting cancer. 
  • Keep patients up to date on cancer and other health screenings by reminding them to make timely appointments.
  • Encourage patients to take charge of their health by keeping track of health screenings and immunizations.
  • Make information and education readily available on the various cancers, prevention and symptoms, self and clinical exams, and appropriate health screenings.