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Women’s Health Month and Cancer Awareness

Women’s Health Month and Cancer Awareness

May 6, 2024

May is Women’s Health Awareness Month, and the NYCDCCBF would like to encourage our members to be proactive about their mental and physical well-being. For many workers in the construction industry, certain health issues carry a stigma, leading to a lack of proper care and later diagnoses.

Along with our partners at Memorial Sloan Kettering, the NYCDCCBF is offering some basic information on common cancers. We encourage you to learn more about your family’s cancer history and your risk factors for various cancer types. With regular monitoring, screening, and healthy life-choices, you and your loved ones can lower your risk of potentially deadly cancers.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a disease caused by abnormal cells growing in your breast, which may cause a tumor to form. MSK recommends those at average risk to become familiar with the look and feel of your breasts at age 20, so you can notice any changes that may occur. Those at average risk are recommended to begin receiving yearly breast exams at age 25, and yearly mammograms at age 40.

Cervical Cancer

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the main risk factor for cervical cancer. You can lower your risk for HPV by using condoms and dental dams during sex, as well as receiving the HPV vaccine. MSK recommends those between the ages of 21-29 receive a Pap test every three years. For those ages 30-65, MSK recommends receiving a Pap test every three years and an HPV test every five years.

Ovarian Cancer

The risk of ovarian cancer increases with family history of the disease, and the average age at diagnosis is 62. Those with a personal or family history of breast cancer prior to age 50 may also be at increased risk. You can learn more about your risk of developing ovarian cancer by receiving a genetic test and by speaking to your healthcare provider.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancers often start as a polyp (or growth) on the lining of the colon or rectum. 9 out of 10 people survive colon cancer when it is found and treated early. A colonoscopy is a common and effective test for colon cancer. Memorial Sloan Kettering recommends those with no family history and average risk get a colonoscopy at age 45. Those with family history of colon cancer and other risk factors should talk to their doctor about earlier screening.

Lung Cancer

While lung cancer is not unique to women, it is the leading cause of cancer deaths among American women (and men). 8 out of 10 people who develop lung cancer get it from smoking, and quitting smoking is one of the most important health-decisions you can make. MSK recommends those between the ages of 50-80 receive lung cancer screening.

About MSK Direct

The NYCDCC Welfare Fund partners with Memorial Sloan Kettering to offer MSK Direct, a program that gives you guided access to expert cancer care. They provide resources and support throughout your care experience. To learn more about screenings, as well as other cancer care related topics, visit the MSK Direct website for the NYCDCC Welfare Fund at If you or a loved one are impacted by cancer and would like to discuss treatment options available at MSK, please call the dedicated MSK Direct phone line for the NYCDCC Welfare Fund at (833) 786-3368.

For more information about cancer screenings, you can read an informative pamphlet from MSK here: