Did you know that more than half of all cancers diagnosed in the United States might have been preventable? They are linked to smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and excessive exposure to the sun.
It doesn’t have to be this way, and it shouldn’t. That’s why National Cancer Prevention Month is so important. This is the time to stop smoking (or better yet, never start), take a look at diet and exercise and make changes where needed, and buy that sunscreen we keep saying we’ll apply when sitting poolside, or even doing yard work.
The American Cancer Society has all kinds of helpful information about cancer, and steps that can help reduce your risk. One big thing you can do is see what tests you might need to look into, based on your age, gender and ethnicity. That includes colonoscopies, mammograms and other easy to schedule exams that will give you peace of mind, as well as hopefully catch any problems early.
Putting an end to cancer is still a ways away, but research is ongoing and comprehensive. If we do our part, we can cut down on the number of cancer cases in the meantime. For instance, the American Institute for Cancer Research estimates that one-third of the most common cancers in the United States could be prevented by eating healthier, exercising and keeping excess weight off. The AICR says that’s an estimated 374,000 cancer cases that would never happen.
That’s a number we can all get behind. So, for February, take one step toward preventing cancer. Maybe that’s just eating more fruits and vegetables, or maybe it’s finally using that gym membership you got during the holidays, or scheduling that long-overdue physical. Take the first step and be the change in your own life when it comes to stopping or preventing cancer.