Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


A cancer other than non-melanoma skin cancer will occur in one of every seven persons. Individuals with higher risks for cancer are those with increasing age, hereditary disorders, and a family history of cancer. Lifestyle, especially the use of tobacco and alcohol, diet, and perhaps behavioral patterns influence the risk. Less well understood but clearly pertinent risk factors include environmental and occupational exposures. The risk factors specific for breast cancer include a positive family history of breast cancer, history of mastopathy, age at first pregnancy greater than 35 years, early menarche with late menopause, and history of carcinoma of the colon, endometrium, or ovary. The risk factors specific for colorectal cancer include history of polyps or prior colon cancer, family history of colon or rectal cancer, familial polyposis, Gardner's syndrome and ulcerative colitis. The asymptomatic patient should be screened according to the Henry Ford Hospital screening recommendations. The patients at risk should be screened according to the American Cancer Society recommendations. It is the responsibility of health professionals to identify patients at risk and to respond accordingly.