Almost half of all people in the U.S. are at risk of developing some form of cancer in their lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute. For women, it's often breast cancer. For men, it's prostate cancer. For both populations lung cancer and colorectal cancer are common.
Dr. Paul Limburg, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and cancer researcher with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, says you can lower your risk of cancer by knowing your personal and family medical histories, as well as developing a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise.
He also says researchers are studying healthy people to see whether medications or supplements could help modify cancer risk.
"It's called chemo prevention," says Dr. Limburg. "It goes back to the biologic development of cancers, precancers. For example, inflammation seems to be an important contributor to the development of cancer, so could anti-inflammation medications help reduce cancer risk?"
In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Limburg talks more about cancer research at Mayo, including new technologies and the possibility of a single blood test to screen for multiple cancers.