ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States. However, there are several ways a person can lower their risk of death from cancer.

Tools like cancer screenings and making healthy lifestyle choices can catch cancer early or prevent it from developing at all. 

Some common cancer screenings include mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies and fit tests for colorectal cancer, and lung cancer screenings, which are available to some smokers and past smokers.

"Early detection is key in treating and preventing cancer diagnosis," said Danielle Schrader, Blue Ridge Cancer Program manager at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. 

Lifestyle modifications are also important for preventing cancer. Some modifications include eating a healthy diet with whole grains and vegetables, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking and more.

"About 18 percent of cancers in the United States are related to being overweight, not maintaining a healthy weight, having a poor diet, and not being physically active, so these lifestyle modifications and leading a healthy lifestyle can help minimize your risk of developing cancer down the road," Schrader said.

Another important tool in the fight against cancer is the HPV vaccine, which is recommended for children aged 11 and 12, but can be given to those as young as nine and as old as 26.

"It can protect against cervical cancer, head and neck cancers, later in life. Basically what it does is it builds up antibodies in your body," Schrader said. "So if you were exposed to the HPV virus, they are going to basically attack that and prevent it from infecting cells which could lead to certain cancers."

Health care providers recommend reaching out to your primary care provider to see which screenings you are eligible for because it could save your life.

"Screenings are so important, as I've mentioned, it just helps to detect cancers early on so we can treat them and get folks into survivorship," Schrader said.

To learn more about cancer screening at Sentara Health, click here.