Most of us have either had someone in our immediate family if not at least known someone that has had cancer. It can be traumatizing and heartbreaking. Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. The good news is you can be proactive and reduce your odds of getting certain cancers by making some lifestyle changes and following these prevention strategies.
• Vaccinate against human papilloma virus (HPV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV).
• Control occupational hazards such as direct contact with chemicals and inhalants .
• Reduce exposure to non-ionizing radiation by sunlight by avoiding sun rays or using the proper sun screen and protection.
• Reduce exposure to ionizing radiation (occupational or medical diagnostic imaging).
• Eat a clean healthy diet with special attention to assure you are consuming enough fruit and vegetables.
• Take the time for regular physical fitness and beware that your weight matches that of your BMI (body mass index). Note that physical fitness should be a part of your routine regardless of weight however because thin does not always mean in good physical health.
• Discontinue tobacco use and discontinue if not at least minimize the use of alcohol.
These steps are suggested to reduce the risk of cancer but cannot guarantee that you won’t be infected. Therefor it is pertinent that you go to the necessary cancer screenings, because the sooner cancer is detected the higher the chance there is of successful treatment.
One of the leading types of cancer among women (though in rare cases it can also affect men) is breast cancer. It is the most common cancer to women only second to skin cancer. October is breast cancer awareness month and the month is marked with a pink ribbon to bring attention to the importance of screening and to raise funds for research.
Any woman can become diagnosed with breast cancer but again, the sooner it is detected the better it can be treated. Just for inspiration, some famous celebrities that have battled and overcome breast cancer are Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon, Sheryl Crow, Kylie Minogue and Christina Applegate among others. Applegate like Angelina Jolie quite heroically opted to have a double mastectomy to reduce the chance of future breast cancer. They are both advocates and have non-profit organizations to help women with cancer.
To find out more information about breast cancer awareness month, or to see what you can do to help go to: http://www.cancer.org/healthy/morewaysacshelpsyoustaywell/breastcancer