Your Own Health

Signs and Risk Factors for All Cancers

Watch what you eat and drink

  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
  • Choose foods from plant sources such as whole grain cereals, breads, rice, pasta and beans.
  • Avoid processed, salt-cured, salt-pickled and smoked foods.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco in any form.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so moderately

Be Physically Active

  • Exercise!
  • Be moderately active for a half-hour daily.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Protect your skin when outside and avoid too much sunlight
  • Wear protective clothing, hats, and use effective sunscreens

See Your Doctor

  • Visit your doctor for appropriate cancer-screening tests for breast, cervical, colon and prostate cancers.
  • When cancer is detected early, treatment is most successful.
  • Avoid unnecessary x-rays.

With over 10,000 deaths annually, cancer is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 15. Even when children are old enough to communicate, paying close attention to any signs or symptoms they may mention can allow you to identify early signs of cancer. Call your doctor if you see any of these signs or symptoms in children:

  • Shows signs of infection
  • Has trouble eating
  • Has digestive tract problems
  • Shows changes in mobility or mood
  • Has such symptoms as bleeding, severe and continuing headaches, pain anywhere in the body, red or swollen areas.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, and is the most common type of cancer found in children. Call your doctor if you see any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Pain in bones or joints
  • A noticeable limp
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, groin or elsewhere
  • Abnormal tiredness
  • Consistent poor appetite
  • Risk factors for ALL include:  a sibling with leukemia, being Caucasian or Hispanic, living in the U.S., exposure to x-ray before birth, exposure to radiation, past treatment with chemotherapy or other drugs that weaken the immune system, certain changes in genes or genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome.

Learn More

Reduce Cancer Risk:


Signs of childhood cancer:


Signs childhood leukemia:


NCC’s grant to Duke University Medical Center in Durham NC funds cutting-edge research in cancer immunotherapy.  Learn more about how immune-based treatment helps fight aggressive breast cancer