Cancer Services

Prevention & Diagnosis of Cancer

Cancer Treatment at Iredell Health System

Cancer is responsible for about one out of every four deaths in the United States. Prevention is the best hope for cutting that number. Several preventive measures can make a big difference in mitigating cancer risk. Since cancer tends to develop slowly over several years, you have a wide window of opportunity to make a difference.

The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and the American Institute for Cancer Research offer this advice on reducing your risk of cancer:

  • Don't smoke or use tobacco in any form. Avoid secondhand smoke whenever you can.
  • Eat a diet rich in plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit fat, salt and red meat.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Know the risks of drinking alcohol.
  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible and wear sunscreen every day.
  • Get moderate exercise every day.
  • Follow guidelines for cancer screenings and exams. When cancer is found early, treatment is most likely to be effective.
  • Don't ask for x-rays that you doctor doesn't recommend. When you do need x-rays, ask about a protective screen for the parts of your body that aren't being imaged.
  • Protect yourself from viruses that are linked to cancer. This includes human papilloma virus (HPV), which is passed on during sex and can lead to cervical cancer; the human T-cell leukemia virus, which is transmitted by drug needles; and hepatitis B, which can spread during sex, from needles used for tattoos, body piercing, medical purposes or drug use, or through shared toothbrushes or razors. The ACS recommends the HPV vaccine for all young women and the hepatitis B vaccine for all children as well as high-risk adults. Your doctor can help you determine which vaccines are appropriate for you.

Recommended Cancer Screenings:

  • Internal exams every three years (includes Pap test and HPV for women; prostate for men)
  • Baseline mole and overall skin exam (once every three years after)
  • Mammograms (40+)

Your doctor may order a scan from out PET/CT - the gold standard for advanced cancer diagnosis and other disorders. PET, or Positron Emission Tomography, detects disease more quickly and accurately by identifying biochemical changes in the body.

Our Wellness team offers cancer prevention programs to local businesses, the community, and schools.

Iredell Health System has been approved with Commendation as a Community Hospital Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The Women's Health Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology.

To schedule an appointment to discuss cancer prevention and diagnosis, contact us today!