Reduce your Risk for Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I thought I’d contribute to raising awareness:

"October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pass it on! Please pass the pink penguin. Squish a boob save a life!"The penguin seems to be encouraging breast self exams (BSEs) – or perhaps breast friend exams 😛 … either way, it’s good to be aware of the benefits and limitations.

Self-examinations can provide early detection of changes that might be a sign of breast cancer, but other forms of screening (clinical breast examinations, mammograms) are necessary for early detection. Susan G. Komen for the Cure provides information on what to look for. Additionally, the National Breast Cancer Foundation provides tools for creating an Early Detection Plan.

That said, it is important to note that Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. IMHO, much more needs to be done to raise awareness about lung cancer (and other less-publicized forms of cancer). The “Number 1” thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer, whether it be lung or any other form, is to avoid tobacco products and second-hand smoke. If you use tobacco products, please consider reducing or (even better!) eliminating your use of them. The most effective treatment for smoking cessation is a combination of pharmacological treatments and counseling.

The other major way you can reduce your risk of cancer is by eating a diet that contains at least 5 servings of whole fruits and vegetables every day and exercising for at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. Losing weight and/or maintaining a healthy weight can also significantly reduce your risk.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Facts & Figures 2011
The American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2011

(The above links are to pages from which you can then open PDFs of documents that summarize the results and implications of scientific research.)

I avoid tobacco and second-hand smoke like the plague, but I certainly don’t have good nutrition and exercise habits. These are things I intend to work on – and not just in October! Please join me in my quest for a healthier lifestyle.

October 12-13 Update

October 25 Update


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. giatura
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 02:18:59

    I removed the link to Susan G. Komen For the Cure’s website and crossed out the related sentence in response to recent events. Any organization that claims to be fighting a devastating disease should prioritize people’s health above profit and especially above politics. I encourage reading the CNN article: “A Teaching Moment About Politics and Komen” and researching organizations before buying their products or otherwise supporting them.


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