News Release

January 30, 2008

Contact: Christopher DeFrancesco, 860-679-3914

Fighting Cancer Before It Can Start

February is National Cancer Prevention Month

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Some of the most effective cancer treatments originate long before a doctor ever gets involved.

Physicians at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center say individuals can reduce their cancer risk by getting recommended screenings, learning family history, and making healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising regularly and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.

“The best way to treat cancer is to prevent it,” says Molly Brewer, M.D., director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. “For instance, the HPV vaccine for younger women and regular Pap tests for all women are proven ways to avoid cervical cancer.”

The HPV vaccine protects against human papillomavirus, the virus responsible for most cases of cervical cancer.

The American Institute for Cancer Research started observing February as National Cancer Prevention Month in 2004.

“There are steps you can take to make yourself less vulnerable, including medications for those at high risk for breast cancer, and you should follow guidelines and seek advice on early detection strategies,” says Richard Everson, M.D., director of the UConn Health Center’s cancer prevention programs. “For people with known risk factors for cancer, such as a strong family history, we offer personalized cancer prevention strategies.”

A recent report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research reinforces the concept of exercise and diet playing an important role in cancer prevention.

Research by Joseph Anderson, M.D., in UConn’s Colon Cancer Prevention Program also suggests a cancer risk-lifestyle link. Along with lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation and weight loss, he emphasizes the importance of screenings.

“We use the latest techniques to detect polyps that more conventional methods might miss,” Anderson says.

More information about the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center’s prevention programs is available at, or by calling 800-535-6232.

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