Cancer mortality rates have been declining in recent years due advances in cancer research, detection and treatment. (18) However, it was still the second leading cause of death in the Panhandle in 2009, second only to heart disease. (13)
New cancer cases can be prevented and cancer deaths can be reduced by decreasing exposure to certain risk factors, such as tobacco use, long-term exposure to radon, and excessive ultraviolet light, and adopting positive behaviors, such as healthy eating and active living. (19,20) Cancer risk can also be reduced by getting the recommended cancer screening tests. (19) To address cancer prevention, strategies are divided into two focus areas: (1) Primary Prevention, and (2) Early Detection. Because healthy eating and active living are already covered in the healthy living section, strategies for Primary Prevention target limiting exposure to tobacco, radon, and ultraviolet light. Strategies for Early Detection, on the other hand, involve partnering with health care providers to inform and educate the public on the recommended screening guidelines.