Preventing Cancer

 It’s not always possible to prevent cancer. Some things are out of our control, like age and family history. But positive lifestyle choices like eating a balanced diet and exercise can help you manage your risk. Here are some other steps you can take to lower your chances of getting cancer.


A screening is a test or exam to find a disease, like cancer, in people who may not have any symptoms. Early detection is the best chance for successful treatment.

Ask your primary care provider which screenings are best for you based on your age, health and family history:         


Mammography, an x-ray of the breast, is the most important screening tool for early detection of breast cancer. Our deNicola Breast Health Center offers 3D Mammography and other diagnostic screenings, like breast ultrasound and breast MRI, to help find cancer. Talk to your doctor about when to get your first mammogram and how often you should be screened. If you meet income guidelines, free or low-cost mammograms are available through New Hampshire’s Let No Woman Be Overlooked Program

Lung Cancer Screening

We're designated by the American College of Radiology as a Lung Screening Center. Screening with low-dose CT (computed tomography) scans, and follow-up care, significantly lowers lung cancer deaths. Ask your pulmonologist, or priamry care provider, if screening is best for you.  


There are several different screening tests for colorectal cancer, including colonoscopy. Ask your gastroenterologist, or primary care provider, about the type of screening that’s best for you. 

Skin Cancer Screening

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer (melanoma) is by far the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ask your dermatologist, or primary care provider, if this screening is best for you.

Prostate Cancer Screening

PSA blood tests and digital rectal exams for prostate cancer: the American Cancer Society recommends that you talk with your doctor about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. There are risks and benefits to testing and treatment. Ask your urologist, or primary care provider, if screening is best for you.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Cancer of the cervix may be prevented or detected early by regular Pap tests. The Pap test can tell if you have an infection, abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer. If found early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers. Ask your gynecologist, or primary care provider, about your risk factors and when you should be screened. If you meet income guidelines, free or low-cost cervical cancer screenings are available through New Hampshire’s Let No Woman Be Overlooked Program

Genetic Counseling

Some cancers run in families, based on abnormal genes we inherit from our parents. Hereditary cancers can include:

  • Breast
  • Gynecological cancers: ovarian, uterine and fallopian tube
  • Gastrointestinal: colon, rectal, pancreatic and gastric
  • Genitourinary: kidney
  • Endocrine: thyroid, pituitary and adrenal
  • ​Skin: melanoma

Through our relationship with Massachusetts General Hospital, a certified genetic counselor can:

  • Identify your risk of developing cancer based on your personal and family history
  • Explain the risks and benefits of genetic testing
  • Explain test results
  • ​Refer you for monitoring, treatment and follow-up care

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, talk to your orimary care provider or call Foundation Hematology/Oncology at (603) 886-7900.