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At Free Lunchtime Program, Local Cancer Doctor Will Share Ways to Fight Cancer and Stay as Healthy as Possible

Learn the Latest about Cancer Prevention and Detection for Women

“Many cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices like not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right, keeping active, and getting recommended screening tests,” states the American Cancer Society (ACS) on its web site.

Over the years, we have learned there are things each of us can do to help prevent some types of cancer or detect it at an earlier stage, when treatment may be more effective.

“When it comes to cancers that occur more frequently in females, it is useful for a woman to know whether she has an average or an increased level of risk,” said medical oncologist Vandana Sharma, MD, medical director of the Washington Cancer Genetics program. “With women, we usually think of cancers of the breast, ovaries, uterus and cervix. However, today, the cancer with the greatest number deaths in women is lung cancer.”

In 2015, the ACS estimates:

  • More than 105,000 American women will be newly diagnosed with lung cancer.
  • More than 71,600 American women will die of lung cancer.

Free Program

To learn the latest on early detection and prevention of cancer in women, you are invited to a free wellness program sponsored by Washington Women’s Center on Tuesday, September 15 from 1 to 2 p.m. At the event, Dr. Sharma will share information on the latest screening guidelines for different cancers, along with lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your risk of cancer.

The program will be held in the Washington Women’s Center Conference Room in the Washington West building, 2500 Mowry Ave., in Fremont. For more information or to reserve your spot, register online at or call 800.963.7070.

The presentation is part of Washington Women’s Center’s “Healthy Knowledge at Noon” series about topics to help women improve their overall health. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch.

Dr. Sharma will review the latest information on cancer screenings for women who are at average and elevated risk for different types of cancer. She will also discuss lifestyle changes you can take to decrease your risk of cancer, as well as specific medical interventions that may help prevent cancer.

These include:

  • A vaccine that can help to prevent cervical cancer
  • Medications that can help to prevent breast cancer
  • Surgery that can help to prevent ovarian cancer

Dr. Sharma will discuss treatment options, including diet and exercise, as well as surgery for women at high risk.

Looking Ahead

“Our ability to detect and treat cancer is improving all the time and so the number of cancers per 1,000 people continues to decrease. However, the overall number of cases continues to increase,” explained Dr. Sharma. “That’s because the size of our population keeps growing. Also, cancer is generally a disease of aging and people today are living longer.”

Looking to the future, Dr. Sharma will touch on new immunotherapy treatments that stimulate a person’s immune system to help fight cancer.

“We have always thought having a healthy immune system helps to prevent cancer,” added Dr. Sharma. “But now, preliminary data is showing that a healthy immune system can also fight cancer at a more advanced stage.”

Think Pink is coming

Dr. Sharma will also be a speaker at Washington Women’s Center’s upcoming seventh annual Think Pink breast health awareness fair on Thursday, October 15, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The free event will include interactive booths, informative lectures and more. For more information or to register, call 510.608.1301.

Throughout the year, Washington Women’s Center sponsors a host of wellness and support programs for women. Two examples are Mindful Meditation and Yoga held on Wednesday evenings and Candlelit Yoga on Monday nights. For more information or to register, call 510.608.1301.

Learn more

To find out more about Washington Women’s Center, go to To learn more about cancer, visit the web site of the American Cancer Society at