Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in women. Although treatments have improved, prevention and early detection can have the greatest effect on reducing the burden of cancer in women, with an estimated 40% of cancers being potentially avoidable. Cancers related to smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption, and poor nutrition account for the largest share of this estimate. This review examines strategies for reducing the burden of cancer in average-risk women. Specifically, we examine primary prevention strategies—those aimed at reducing the risk of developing cancer—as well as secondary prevention strategies—measures aimed at the early detection of disease. Annual well-women examinations are endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as opportunities to counsel patients on preventive care or to refer to other specialists for recommended services.
A large proportion of the cancer burden in women is caused by modifiable risk factors for which several cancer prevention strategies are available.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Department of Epidemiology, Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York.
Corresponding author: Jason D. Wright, MD, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY; email: email@example.com.
Financial Disclosure Dr. Wright has served as a consultant for Tesaro and Clovis Oncology. The other author did not report any potential conflicts of interest.
Dr. Wright (NCI R01CA169121-01A1) is a recipient of a grant from the National Cancer Institute.
Each author has confirmed compliance with the journal's requirements for authorship.
Peer reviews and author correspondence are available at http://links.lww.com/AOG/B390.