Cancer Facts and Prevention Information for World Cancer Day

February 3, 2019

Everybody knows someone that has been affected by cancer, a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. According to the National Cancer Institute, there were an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer in 2018 in the U.S. With February 4th recognized as World Cancer Day, here are a few key facts about cancer and actionable ways to promote cancer prevention below.

Facts to Know About Cancer

The 10 most common types of cancer in 2018 were:

  • breast
  • lung and bronchus
  • prostate
  • colon and rectum
  • melanoma of the skin
  • bladder
  • non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • kidney and renal pelvis cancer
  • endometrial cancer
  • leukemia


  • According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer mortality is higher among men than women (196.8 per 100,000 men and 139.6 per 100,000 women). Just over 600,000 Americans are expected to pass from cancer in 2019.
  • It is estimated Illinois will see 68,560 new cases of cancer in 2019, per American Cancer Society.
  • Screenings can help prevent fatal outcomes from certain types of cancers. This includes breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, and lung.
  • African Americans have higher death rates than all other groups for many, but not all, cancer types.
  • Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native women have higher rates of cervical cancer than women of other racial/ethnic groups, and African American women have the highest rates of death from the disease.


Ways to Promote Cancer Prevention

Although some cancers are not 100 percent preventable, lifestyle choices can help lower the risk of developing the disease.


  1. Do not use tobacco. Smoking can cause a number of types of cancer including lung, mouth, bladder, and kidney. Chewing and other smokeless tobacco has been linked to mouth and throat cancer.
  2. Eat a healthy diet and maintain a normal weight. Eating less processed foods and red meat can decrease your risk of developing the disease. Obesity can also be a contributing factor to a number of cancers including thyroid, leukemia, and colorectal cancers.
  3. Protect your skin in the sun. When you are out in the sun, do your best to cover up and protect yourself from long exposure. Wear sunscreen, seek shade, and whatever you do, avoid tanning beds.
  4. Exercise. For men, exercise can help decrease odds of developing colon and prostate cancer, according to Harvard Health. For women, regular activity has been shown to decrease the risk of breast and reproductive cancers.
  5. Limit alcohol intake. The Center of Disease Control reports that alcohol use increases the risk of getting six types of cancer, particularly liver cancer.

Access Community Health Network (ACCESS)
If you have any questions or need support around cancer prevention, diagnosis or treatment, ACCESS is here to help. We can also assist with lifestyle changes including smoking cessation or diet analysis.Visit our website to find your local ACCESS health center and schedule an appointment today.


As of March 23, 2023