Cancer Risks

Cancer Control Month With Berta

Posted by b in BLOG, Health & Wellness, Healthy Lifestyle 07 Apr 2014

Cancer Risks

In this post here, I mentioned April was National Cancer Control Month and why it’s so important to me. This is the first of 12 posts that will kick off the ‘Cancer Control Education Series’ I developed to share free resources, tips and tools you can use to prevent and control cancer.

Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States. National Cancer Control Month dates back to President Roosevelt in the 1930’s. It was established to highlight progress being made in the fight against cancer. The goal was to increase awareness of risk factors related to cancer and arm us with the knowledge necessary to reduce those risks.

Over the last two decades, 1 million deaths from lung, colon, breast and prostate cancer have been prevented according to The American Cancer Society. That’s good news. However, they also informed us of an increase in people developing less common cancers including pancreas, liver, thyroid, kidney, skin and esophageal. So we’ve made progress, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. National Cancer Control Month encourages healthy lifestyles, promotes cancer screenings and stresses the importance of access to quality care and research initiatives.

We all have ‘Controllable Risk Factors‘ when it comes to cancer and ‘Uncontrollable Risk Factors‘. Today we’re going to kick off National Cancer Control Month by discussing what you can control and what you can’t.

Age is a risk factor we can’t control. Our risk for cancer increases as we age with the majority of cancers diagnosed after the age of 50. Our gender is another non-controllable risk factor. Women are at a higher risk of certain types of cancer, while men have a naturally higher risk of developing others.

Much like gender, race is a non-controllable risk factor as different races are associated with a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer. And lastly, our genetics are a risk factor we can’t control. We’re born with our genetic make-up and hereditary risk that lead certain individuals to have an increased risk of cancer.

Research suggests 1/3 of cancer related deaths could be avoided with proper diet and exercise and eliminating the use of tobacco according to the American Cancer Society. The World Health Organization has similar findings showing that 1/3 of cancer cases could be prevented by utilizing these same healthy behaviors. These are our ‘Controllable Risks‘.

Our controllable risks include physical activity, tobacco/alcohol use, body weight and diet. We’ll dive into these controllable risks the entire month of April. I’ll be providing useful information with actionable content to help you avoid being one of the 1.6+ million new cases (with an estimated 585k deaths) of cancer projected this year.

Now let’s get started!

The first action I’d like you to take is to get a personal assessment of your risks for cancer.  To do this, visit MD Anderson’s Cancer Risk Check here. This tool will assess your personal risk and provide specific actions you can take to control your chances of developing cancer.

This will be your first step in taking a major action to prevent and control cancer.

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