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Oncology Nursing Society Position

Prevention and Early Detection of Cancer in the United States

ONF 2001, 789-790 DOI:

In the United States, more than 1,200,000 new cancers are diagnosed in individuals across the lifespan each year. The lifetime risk of developing cancer in the United States is one in two for men and one in three for women. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, with one in every four deaths caused by cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of death in individuals 40–79 years of age (American Cancer Society [ACS], 2001). Consequently, cancer is a major public health problem in the United States. Adopting healthier lifestyles and avoiding carcinogen exposure could prevent many cancers. According to ACS, institution of prevention measures and early detection of cancer are two of the most important and effective strategies for reaching important public health goals of saving lives lost from cancer, diminishing suffering from cancer, and eliminating cancer as a major health problem.

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