Cancer Prevention

Cancer Prevention

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Idaho. Nearly one in two Idahoans are estimated to develop cancer during their lifetime. Southwest District Health works with partner organizations around the region to decrease risk for, and severity of, cancer in Idaho.  

Cancer prevention is taking actions to lower your risk of getting cancer. Some actions that you can take to prevent cancer include getting your recommended screenings (breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers), getting vaccinated for HPV and Hepatitis B (these vaccines prevented certain types of cancer), and making healthy lifestyle choices (i.e., exercising, eating healthy, not smoking).

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Protection is important do people of all ages and cultures. Skin damaged by the sun can happen fast! Studies show that even just a few sunburns paired with recreational tanning can significantly increase the risk of developing skin cancer. 

Be AWARE of these Sun Safety Tips: 

Apply – Broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen 

Wear – UV-protection clothing 

Avoid – Direct sunlight between 10am and 4pm 

Re-apply – Broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen 

Enjoy – The outdoors, with these tips 

Southwest District Health works with partners in the outdoor recreational/tourism industries to implement sun safety measures throughout our region. Contact us if you’d like to implement sun safety prevention measures.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are 50 or older, getting a colorectal cancer screening test could save your life.

Southwest District Health strives to reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer by increasing awareness of the disease in the community and increasing rates of effective screening methods.

Screening Guidelines

It is recommended that individuals age 50 (earlier if you have a family history), both men and women should be screened.

HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – HPV infections are very common. More than 42 million Americans are currently infected with HPV types that cause disease. About 13 million Americans, including teens, become infected each year. HPV is spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact. You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus, even if they don’t have signs or symptoms.  

Most HPV infections (9 out of 10) go away by themselves within 2 years. But sometimes, HPV infections will last longer and can cause some cancers. HPV infection can cause cancers of the: cervix, vagina, and vulva, penis, anus, and the back of the throat (including the base of tongue and tonsils). You can protect yourself and your teens early, before they ever encounter the virus, by getting vaccinated. 

Get vaccinated to protect from cancers later in life: 

  • Ages 11-15: The CDC recommends that children ages 11-12 years old should get two doses of HPV vaccine, given 6 to 12 months apart. It is recommended to receive the HPV vaccine earlier rather than later to protect your child long before they ever encounter the virus. 
  • Ages 15-26: Teens and young adults should be vaccinated too. Anyone between the ages of 15-26 years is recommended by the CDC to get three doses of the HPV vaccine. 
  • Ages 27-45: HPV vaccine is not recommended for everyone older than 26. However, some adults ages 27-45 who were not already vaccinated can choose to get the HPV vaccine after talking to their doctor about their risk for new HPV infections and vaccination benefits. 

Reach out to a health care provider today to see if the HPV vaccine is recommended for you or your child. 

If you have questions about the HPV vaccine, the HPV vaccine’s safety and efficacy, or are wondering what questions to ask your doctor about HPV vaccinations check out these links!


Idaho Comprehensive Cancer Control Program:
Download(PDF): Idaho Comprehensive Cancer Control Program

American Cancer Society:

National Cancer Institute:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Colon Cancer Alliance:


If you have any questions or would like to work with Southwest District Health to prevent cancer, contact: