Frequently Asked Questions About Cancer

Are tanning booths safe?
Just like the sun, tanning lamps and tanning booths are sources of UV radiation which may produce a greater risk of skin cancer.

Is it true that black people do not get skin cancer?
No, it is not true. Black people can develop skin cancer, especially on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, under nails, or in the mouth.

Do I need to have a mammogram done even if I do not have a family history of breast cancer?
Yes, simply being a woman and getting older puts you at some risk for breast cancer.

Does having large breasts increase my risk for breast cancer?
No. Breast cancer is not choosey. Having large breasts does not increase your risk, but it can make it more difficult to feel any lumps or changes in your breast. By performing breast self-examination each month, you will become familiar with the feel, shape and size of your breasts, making it easier for you to notice changes should they occur.

At what age should I start having my prostate checked?
According to the American Urological Associate, if you are age 50 or older (age 40 or older if you are black or have a family history of prostate cancer), you should have a digital rectal exam as part of your annual check-up.

Is it true that you can become impotent after prostate surgery?
The nerves and arteries that control erections and bladder function are microscopic, and are located near the prostate gland. During prostate surgery, these structures may be damaged. If these nerves are damaged, you may experience loss of bladder control or impotence after surgery.

Reprinted from the American Cancer Society’s website, The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary healthy organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service.

Please see other resources below:

Financial Assistance for Cancer Patients

Talking to Your Doctor about Treatment

How to Get Quality Rest During Cancer Treatments

Cancer Support Communities

Legal Resources for Cancer Patients