national cancer prevention month

Show Yourself Some Love

February 13, 2024

National Cancer Prevention Month

This Valentine’s Day, show yourself some love. Know your risk for cancers during National Cancer Prevention Month.

cancer prevention month

A guest blog by Hailey Kanipe, MPH, CPS, ICPS, Prevention Specialist and Samantha Maroney, LRADAC Prevention Intern. 

Substance abuse can increase your risk for certain types of cancers. Are you aware of the impact?

It is no secret that tobacco products cause people to be at increased risk for certain types of cancers, but are you aware of other substances that might increase your risk? Cancer is currently ranked as the second most common cause of death in the United States. In 2024, it is estimated that there will be approximately 2,001,140 new cases of cancer in the U.S., with an estimated 611,720 of those cases ending in death from cancer (Cancer Facts & Figures 2024). This is a big jump from last year’s estimate, so cancer is on the rise!

Tobacco products and cigarette smoking play a huge factor in increasing your risk for cancer. Tobacco use includes the use of products like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and cigars. Tobacco is the number one cause of cancer and is linked to several different types. Did you know that approximately 30% of cancer deaths are affiliated with the use of tobacco products? If that isn’t enough to make you want to kick the habit, consider this: smoking around your loved ones can increase their risk for cancer as well. This is called “secondhand smoke.” It is estimated that 6,600 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed this year from secondhand smoke alone (Cancer Facts & Figures 2024). Need help to stop smoking? Check out the resources at the bottom of this blog!

Many people are unaware that alcoholic beverages can also increase your risk for cancer. An estimated 5% of cancer cases in the U.S. are linked to alcohol consumption. Regardless of whether you prefer liquor, beer, champagne, or even wine, alcohol can damage the body. When the body processes alcohol, it can damage the liver, increase the replication of cells, and even increase the estrogen levels in your blood, which has been linked to specific types of breast cancer. When using tobacco and alcohol together, your risk for these cancers increases even more.

What is Your Risk?

Tobacco/Cigarette Smoking
Acute myeloid leukemia, oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, lung, esophageal, pancreatic, uterine, cervical, kidney, bladder, stomach, colorectal, liver, prostate, ovarian cancer

Breast, esophageal, liver, colorectal, kidney, oral, pancreatic cancer

Anabolic Steroids
Prostate, testicular, cervical, endometrial cancer

Oral, lung, testicular cancer

Estimated new cases of cancer in the U.S.

Talk to Your Doctor

It is important to talk to your healthcare provider if you have a concern about the effects of substance use on your health. Your provider can help determine your risk and figure out the right treatment options for you.

LRADAC is the designated alcohol abuse and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties of South Carolina. The public, not-for-profit agency offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in locations convenient to residents of both counties. The agency has a budget of approximately $10 million and serves more than 5,000 clients per year.