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Online Tool Checks Need for Cancer Screening

Cancer Society's 'Great American Health Check' launched this week

FRIDAY, May 6, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Not sure about whether you or a loved one should begin cancer screening? Check out the Great American Health Check.

This new online tool, launched this week by experts at the American Cancer Society, is aimed at increasing awareness about the importance of early cancer detection and to encourage people to get tested.

The Great American Health Check is an easy-to-use, confidential online health assessment tool. It asks users questions about gender, age, height, weight, family history of cancer, dietary habits, physical activity levels, and alcohol and tobacco use.

The tool helps users understand which early detection tests they should take to find potential cancer at an early stage and when treatment is most likely to be successful. It also provides users with information on how to reduce cancer risk by doing such things as quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight.

After providing information to the Great American Health Check, users receive a personalized cancer action plan that outlines recommended cancer screening tests and lifestyle changes.

"While cancer remains one of the top health concerns of Americans, many people may not realize cancers that can be prevented or detected earlier by screening account for about half of all new cancer cases," Dr. Stephen F. Sener, national volunteer president of the American Cancer Society, said in a prepared statement.

Breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, oral cavity and skin cancers are among those easily spotted by early detection tests. Tests for cervical and colorectal cancer may also detect changes in cells before they become cancerous, according to the society.

More information

Here's where you can find the Great American Health Check.

SOURCE: American Cancer Society, news release, May 1, 2005
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