All of us, in some way or another, have been affected by cancer. Whether you know someone who has been diagnosed, have a family history of it, or have idols who were taken from it, cancer is sadly very common.
But did you know, according to the World Health Organization, 30%-50% of cancers can be prevented by avoiding risk factors and implementing evidence-based prevention strategies?
February is National Cancer Prevention Month, so we’re taking this opportunity to inform you of the health risks of cancer and preventative measures you can take against it.
Breaking it down
Cancer develops over time as a result of a multistage process where normal cells transform into tumor cells. These cellular changes can occur because of genetic factors or external agents such as viruses, bacteria, asbestos, ultraviolet radiation, and more. Unfortunately, cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide.
The most common cancers are:
- Lung Cancer: 2.09 million cases
- Breast Cancer: 2.09 million cases
- Colorectal Cancer: 1.80 million cases
- Prostate Cancer: 1.28 million cases
- Skin Cancer: 1.04 million cases
- Stomach Cancer: 1.03 million cases
Reduce your risk
Taking preventative measures to evade cancer can significantly benefit your health in the long run. Here are the Mayo Clinic’s 7 tips to reduce your risk of getting cancer:
- Don’t use tobacco
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Be physically active
- Protect yourself from the sun
- Get vaccinated
- Get regular medical care
National Cancer Prevention Month serves as a reminder to take a step back and evaluate your health goals. How many of these tips are already implemented in your life? How many of them are not? What are the ways you can improve your health and reduce your risk?
If you’re experiencing uncontrolled weight loss, extreme fatigue, or any of these symptoms of cancer, we urge you to visit your healthcare provider immediately. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment are the best defenses against fighting cancer and recovering from it.
If you have a loved one who’s been diagnosed with cancer, there are many ways you can help by showing your support. Studies prove that people have better mental health during a crisis if they have a reliable support system.
Here are 5 ways to support someone who’s battling cancer:
1. Be there
Being there for your loved one is crucial to forming a strong support system. Sitting with them during treatment, bringing their family meals, and offering rides are all great ways to show you’re there to make their life more comfortable through this difficult time.
Diagnosis, treatment, and adjusting to a new reality can be extremely emotionally tolling. Offering a shoulder to lean on and simply letting your loved one voice their feelings, frustrations, and worries can be helpful and healing.
3. Educate yourself
Research the type of cancer they’ve been diagnosed with to become more familiar with their situation. Utilize CancerCare and other reputable organizations that provide helpful insight into treatments, side effects, and related topics.
4. Try to keep things normal
One thing you can do to help someone with cancer is to try to carry on with life the way it was before the diagnosis. Keep up with the traditions, routines, and things you enjoyed doing together as much as possible.
5. Stay connected
Treatment for cancer can be an exceptionally lengthy process. As time goes on, the calls and check-ins can become few and far between. Staying consistent and connected to someone through treatment is a meaningful way to support them.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Cabot Emergency Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.