University of Pennsylvania Health System

Focus on Cancer

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Are you at risk for cancer?

When a friend or family member is diagnosed with cancer, one may wonder: Am I at risk for cancer?

What’s My Risk? is a comprehensive cancer risk tool at OncoLink designed to help individuals learn about the factors that determine their personal cancer risk and what they can do to decrease that risk. By completing a detailed questionnaire about their habits, lifestyle and health history, the program identifies their risk for cancer by creating a detailed report. The report includes information about each risk factor, how it affects cancer risk and resources to change those factors that can be changed.

Some good can come from a family member or friend being diagnosed with cancer. In the medical community, it is called a “teachable moment.” It is that time when a person is so affected by their loved one’s diagnosis that they vow, whether publicly or privately, to make changes in their life to reduce their risk of being in a similar situation. Maybe they’ll start exercising, make a diet change or quit smoking. So at this moment in time when they are most open to making changes, how do they know where to start? Do they really know what habits increase their cancer risk or how to go about changing them?

What’s My Risk? is a “teachable moment;” a chance to live healthier and reduce cancer risk.

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