Cancer Risk Reduction & Treatment Resources

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Read IUFW employee and breast cancer survivor Mary Jo Toenges' Journey Story. Learn more and register for the October 28 Simon Says Expert Series webinar, "Breast Cancer & Black Women: Research to Reduce Disparities." 

No matter where you are in your journey, there are resources and support for you. 

  • Risk Reduction

    According to the American Cancer Society, avoiding use of tobacco, maintaining a healthy weight, eating health-promoting foods, and getting physical activity are important factors in risk reduction. Check out their recommendations here, and local resources below.

    Additional Risk Reduction Factors
    According to the National Cancer Institute, certain infectious agents 
    can cause cancer or increase the risk that cancer will form. You can lower your risk of infection by getting vaccinated, not having unprotected sex, and not sharing needles. 

    HPV vaccines are vaccines that protect against infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV). 

  • Cancer Screening & Early Detection

    Early detection of abnormal tissue or cancer is important. According to the National Cancer Institute, if cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat.

    There are many screening tests in use today. These include: colonoscopies, mammograms, pap tests, skin exams, and more. Screening tests are recommended based on age, gender, and risk factors. This interactive tool from the American Cancer Society shows which screenings are recommended for your age group.

    Talk to your healthcare provider to develop a personal plan for cancer screening based on age, gender, and risk factors. 

    Click here for a calendar of Cancer Awareness Months and ribbon colors (from

  • Clinical Trials

    If you or a loved one needs treatment for cancer, clinical trials are an option to think about. Include clinical trials in any discussions with your healthcare provider about treatment options. Learn more about clinical trials with the resources below. 

    What is a clinical trial?

    Finding a clinical trial 

  • Quality Treatment

    When it comes to your treatment team, give yourself the best. The resources below will help you find the care you need.

    Recognized programs

    • Commission-on-Cancer: The Commission on Cancer recognizes cancer care programs for their commitment to providing comprehensive, high-quality, and multidisciplinary patient centered care. (American College of Surgeons)
    • NCI-Designated Cancer Centers: NCI-Designated Cancer Centers are recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research in basic, clinical, and/or population science. The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is Indiana’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and one of only 51 in the nation.

    Finding high-quality care

  • Survivorship

    The National Cancer Institute provides the following definition for survivorship:

    In cancer, survivorship focuses on the health and life of a person with cancer post treatment until the end of life. It covers the physical, psychosocial, and economic issues of cancer, beyond the diagnosis and treatment phases. Survivorship includes issues related to the ability to get health care and follow-up treatment, late effects of treatment, second cancers, and quality of life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also considered part of the survivorship experience.

    If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, these resources can assist you:

  • IU Resources & Policies

    IU has resources and policies that can help provide support to employees diagnosed with cancer or those caring for someone diagnosed with cancer. Eligible employees have access to IU's premium membership to search for care options such as backup care, home & pet care, child care, and more.  

    Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, provides up to 12 weeks of absence to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. The purpose of FMLA is to help eligible employees balance work and family obligations while providing an element of job security during the leave period. Contact askHR to learn more.

    Castlight: Indiana University has contracted with Castlight to provide employees and their adult family members enrolled in an IU-sponsored medical plan help with finding in-network medical services and prescription drugs based on price and quality of care. 

    Please contact askHR if you or someone you know needs additional assistance or workplace accommodations.

  • IU Employee Stories

    Read Melissa Williams' Journey StoryAs a colorectal cancer survivor, IU Bloomington's Melissa Williams hopes sharing her story will help inspire others to get screened.

    Read Mary Jo Toenges' Journey Story: Breast cancer survivor Mary Jo Toenges from IU Fort Wayne shares how her yearly mammogram helped save her life.

  • Simon Says Expert Series

    To better connect IU’s 250 cancer experts with the community, the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is launching “Simon Says Expert Series,” a monthly virtual event where you’ll have the opportunity to hear from cancer center experts about various topics and ask your questions.

    Learn more

A Focus on Breast, Cervical, and Colorectal Cancers

As part of the Healthy People 2030 initiative, the US Department of Health and Human Services has a Preventative Care objective of increasing the proportion of adults who get screened for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancers. Evidence-based screenings for these cancers can help reduce cancer deaths.

Additonal Resources

Cancer + Careers: Cancer and Careers empowers and educates people with cancer to thrive in their workplace, by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events.