February was national Cancer Awareness Month and shame on me for not recognizing and acknowledging what that actually means. I have seen to close at hand the impact and effect that cancer has on a person and expanding that on the whole family unit.
Cancer has affected my life in many, many ways, it stole my dad when he was only 44, it tore away at my grandfathers body taking him far to soon and most recently it nipped at the heels of my great niece but the spirit of that strong willed three year old managed to beat it back. Our little bizzy bee beat the demons back and is a shining example of the results of medical improvements, strong will and loving family.
Cancer has touched all of us, I am not sure I know anyone now that has not been touched in one way or another. It is a horrid disease that I hope one day we will beat but in the meantime every bit of hope and comfort we can provide to someone matters.
Did you know that February was the month that the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), the American Cancer Society, and thousands of cancer survivors throughout the country celebrated National Cancer Prevention Month. While it’s true that other cancer awareness efforts from Breast Cancer Awareness to Bladder Cancer Awareness has accomplished a great deal when it comes to raising money for cancer research, National Cancer Prevention Month seeks to attack the problem from a different angle.
In addition to spreading awareness about cancer and raising money for various forms of cancer research, National Cancer Prevention Month seeks to educate the general public about the very simple lifestyle choices they can make in an effort to prevent a variety of common forms of cancer. After all, much attention has been paid to finding a cure, but few people are aware of the numerous ways in which they can protect themselves today.
Today I am focusing on Mesothelioma ,one of the many preventable but rare cancers that deserve attention, which is what Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center aims to do during this month and all times of the year. This is a cancer that is caused solely by exposure to asbestos, a harmful toxin that is still legal today in the United States and Canada. Thankfully exposure is something you can avoid, but it is important to maintain a preventative lifestyle and know what you’re looking for to avoid developing something like mesothelioma.
It is thought that the inclusion of a few healthy habits in your life can assist in the prevention of some cancers, three simple steps that seem so obvious yet so few of us actually follow them. Reflecting back on raising awareness lets just take a few minutes and think about the small changes we can make to just maybe provide a bit of protection??
Three steps we can each follow to help prevent Cancer:
1. Develop Healthy Eating Habits
It may be hard to believe that eating right could dramatically improve your odds when it comes to cancer, but the link between certain chemicals and cancer has been thoroughly documented. What’s more, while many of these carcinogens are prevalent in processed foods, some are naturally occurring in foods you’d otherwise consider part of a healthy diet. The AICR and the World Health Organization (WHO) both recommend eating mostly fruits and vegetables, also referred to as whole foods. They also suggest limiting red meat consumption to no more than 18 ounces of lean cuts a week. Finally, they recommend limiting the amount of processed foods, particularly processed meats, that you eat on a regular basis.
2. Exercise Daily
In addition to eating healthier, the AICR and the WHO recommend regular exercise as an effective tool for cancer prevention. According to the National Cancer Institute, regular activity can help the human body regulate the levels of insulin and certain hormones, an excess of which has been linked to the development of variety of cancers. You don’t need to get a gym membership to follow this step; any kind of physical activity for 30 minutes a day should do the trick. This doesn’t have to mean 30 minutes of running on the treadmill at the gym. Any kind of activity to get your heart beating, whether it’s dancing, vacuuming, or walking the dog, can go a long way toward keeping you cancer free.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Finally, maintaining a healthy weight throughout the course of your life can help keep certain cancers at bay. According to both the AICR and the WHO, obesity has been linked to 6 different types of cancer. Research shows that increased levels of insulin and estrogen associated with obesity can lead to certain types of cancer. Fat cells have also been known to affect cancer growth in patients. If you’re concerned about cancer risk factors and are already adhering to proper diet and exercise, it will be that much easier to keep your weight at an appropriate level.
This post was created to help raise awareness, I did not receive any compensation, I do it because I care.