This month for Buddy Check9, instead of a specific cancer, we are going to look at the general topic of cancer and cancer prevention.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease. But progress is being made and the cancer death rate has declined, translating to 2.3 million fewer cancer deaths from 1991 to 2015.

Certain behaviors and factors play a part in cancer risk. Behaviors like smoking, eating an unhealthy diet and not exercising can play a role. Age can also play a role with 87 percent of all cancers in the US being diagnosed in people 50 and older.

There are things that people can do to reduce their risk of getting cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, eating healthy with an emphasis on plant foods and limiting your intake of alcohol. For more information, including videos and tips, visit the Society’s website Cancer.org.

Quitting tobacco can be challenging and the American Cancer Society can help. For quitting options, information and resources, visit Cancer.org.

Cancer screenings provide an opportunity to detect cancer early, or in the case of colorectal and cervical cancers, prevent the cancer by removing precancerous lesions. When cancer screenings are performed and the disease is detected early, treatment is more likely to be successful. Cancer screening tests vary for different types of cancers. Click here to learn more about the screening tests recommended by the American Cancer Society at Cancer.org.

Does cancer run in your family? There are tools available to help you ask your family the right questions to better understand your risk for hereditary cancer. People at increased risk for cancer may be able to reduce their risk through earlier and increased screening and some lifestyle changes. Finding out your family history can benefit both you and your relatives. A genetic counselor can help you with this process. http://cocancergenetics.org/resources/counseling-services/

Thank you to the Colorado Cancer Coalition for information that was used in this article. The Colorado Cancer Coalition is a statewide collaborative working to eliminate the burden of cancer in Colorado. Our task forces and members work together to improve the life of all Coloradans touched by cancer. To learn more go to ttp://www.coloradocancercoalition.org.

The Colorado Cancer Coalition is a sponsored project of the Trailhead Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the public's health and the environment in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.

Thank you to the American Cancer Society for contributing information that was used in this article. For cancer information and resources, contact the American Cancer Society 24 hours a day at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org. The Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

Thank you to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HealthONE for contributing information that was used in this article. askSARAH – Have cancer questions? Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HealthONE is pleased to offer access to askSARAH- a dedicated helpline designed to help answer your cancer-related questions. Whether you have been recently diagnosed with cancer or have questions about screening, signs or symptoms, a registered askSARAH nurse can help. Committed to ensuring you have the right resources close to home, our nurses are available 24/7. Calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at 303.253.3225 to connect directly to a nurse to help guide you.