Page 25 - Athletic Health Handbook
P. 25
Cancer Prevention

Breast Cancer

There is strong evidence that the
incidence of breast cancer is reduced
among women participating in college
sports.1 Evidence supporting breast
self-examination and clinical exami-
nation is poor for detection of cancer,
and the United States Preventive
Services Task Force (USPSTF) does
not support breast self-examination
or clinical exams as a preventative
measure for breast cancer. Given the
fact that breast cancer is the most
common form of non-cutaneous
cancer in women, discussion of breast
cancer with the athlete is warranted.
Creating a dialogue with the athlete
presents the opportunity to outline
modifiable risk factors such as alcohol
use, diet and weight management,
especially in women with a positive
family history. Increasing awareness
of the inability of self-examination to
properly detect cancer, thereby neces-
sitating appropriate use of mammo-
grams, must be highlighted.

Skin Cancer the use of sunscreen and other protec- cancer related checkup.3 While
tive measures such as headgear, long testicular self-examination is easy
Although skin cancer is not often seen sleeves and altering the hours of to teach, it has not been shown to
in young athletes during their years exposure among athletes. reduce mortality from testicular
in competition, they are at high risk cancer.4 Despite the lack of evidence
of melanoma and non-melanoma Testicular Cancer supporting testicular self-examina-
skin cancer due to the considerable tion, the majority of testicular
UV sun exposure associated with Testicular cancer is the most common cancers are first discovered by the
most sports. UV doses in athletes form of cancer in males between the patient.4 Therefore, discussing testic-
have been measured at 30 times the ages of 20 and 35 years. Fortunately, ular cancer and teaching self-exami-
international recommended levels on testicular cancer is now very treat- nation at the very least provides an
any given day of competition. The able, with an average cure rate of opportunity to raise awareness of
amount of sun exposure time can 90 percent.3 The presence of both testicular cancer and discuss other
be as much as 300 hours a season testicles should be established, as health issues related to the genital-
for organized activities in a collegiate males with cryptorchidism have three urinary system, such as sexually
athlete. No research has documented to 17 times the risk of testicular transmitted diseases.
sun protection use levels in college cancer. Both the National Institutes
athletes; however, one study of under- for Health (NIH) and the USPSTF Disease Prevention
graduate students reported consistent recommend against routine screening
sunscreen use in only 9 percent of for testicular cancer for asymptomatic Meningitis
students.2 Given the high risk for males.3 However, the American The number of reported meningo-
sun exposure and the low rates of Cancer Society recommends testicu- coccal cases in 15 to 24 year olds has
sunscreen use among college-age lar examination as part of a routine
students, it is important to encourage

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