The American Medical Association recommends regular checkups by your doctor to detect cancer early, when chances of a cure are best. Skin cancer is the most common cancer but can be detected early through self-examination. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and their second-leading cause of cancer death. Learn to check your breasts through monthly breast self-exams, clinical examinations, and regular mammograms. Having annual exams and pap smears to check the cervix and uterus is also important. Changes in your normal bowel pattern, constipation, diarrhea, or blood in your stool may be early signs of colon or rectal cancer. Smoking is increasing in women, and it is the number one cause of lung cancer. Early signs are a cough that won't go away and coughing up blood. Your best protection is not to smoke. Even other people's smoke can harm you. For more information about women's cancer concerns, check with your healthcare provider.