Most of us have an uncomfortable, if not painful relationship with cancer and cancer-related issues. But the first step to being proactive in preventing cancer is staying informed. February is National Cancer Prevention month. It’s important to know what each of us can do to make a difference.
It was not too long ago that you may have made resolutions for the New Year — striving to change something to improve your life. I know it can be very challenging to keep those resolutions.
It’s now February, and there is still time to set a tone for the rest of the year. In his most recent State of The Union address, President Obama proposed a challenge to the medical community and those working to cure cancer, but he also issued a challenge to the nation as a whole. This challenge is to do everything possible to “make America the nation that cures cancer once and for all.”
So what does that mean for you? Most of us have an uncomfortable, if not painful relationship with cancer and cancer-related issues. But the first step to being proactive in preventing cancer is staying informed. February is National Cancer Prevention month. As we look forward to the coming year and take steps to meet the challenge of curing and preventing cancer, it’s important to know what each of us can do to make a difference.
2 Out of Every 5 People You Know Will Be Affected By Cancer
With cancer statisticians warning that almost 40% of Americans will at some point in their lives have cancer, there is cause to be proactive. That statistic means two out of every five people you know will be afflicted with cancer in some way. Arming ourselves with knowledge can help us as we begin to look at what steps we can take to help our friends and family stay informed and take action.
So what can you do? The first thing to do is start a conversation with your loved ones about how to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, you don’t have to do this alone, as there are many resources available to you. The American Cancer Society website has plenty of information about ways anyone can reduce their cancer risk.
Some examples are:
- Stay away from tobacco
- Start to eat healthy and get active
- Be safe in the sun
- Find cancer early
While these may only be a few simple suggestions, they can be the first small steps to building real, effective and long-standing healthy habits. Many of us already know these suggestions but have been unsure of how to talk with others about them or are unaware of the resources available for starting a conversation.
Work With Others to Get the Word Out About Cancer
Mercy Cancer Center offers this suggestion: Form an alliance. What this means is that you find some like-minded people who have a desire to “get the word out” about preventing cancer and together you offer support and share resources. Whether this is a family member, friend, or co-worker doesn’t really matter as long as the goal is to rally people around this challenge to make our nation and our generation the one that solves the problem of cancer once and for all.