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(via American Cancer Society)

More than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices like not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right and keeping active. February is National Cancer Prevention Month. St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center partners with the American Cancer Society (ACS) to provide quality care for our cancer patients and families as well as educating the community on how to decrease the risk for cancer.

1. Stay Away from Tobacco

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. for both men and women. (Source: ACS Cancer Facts and Figures 2013)
  • Lung cancer is the most preventable form of cancer death in our society. (Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2013)
  • It is estimated that there will be 228,190 new cases of lung cancer and 159,480 deaths from lung cancer in 2013. (Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2013)
  • Besides lung cancer, tobacco use also increases the risk for cancers of the mouth, lips, nasal cavity (nose) and sinuses, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon/rectum, and ovary (mucinous), as well as acute myeloid leukemia. (Source: ACS Cancer Facts & Figures 2013)
  • Each year, about 3,400 non-smoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing secondhand smoke. Each year, secondhand smoke also causes about 46,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are not current smokers. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2013)

2. Eat Healthy and Get Active

ACS “Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention” include:

  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life by getting regular physical activity and limiting the intake of high-calorie food and drinks.
  • In the U.S., excess body weight is thought to contribute to as many as 1 out of 5 of all cancer-related deaths.
  • Being overweight is clearly linked with increased risk for cancer of the breast, colon/rectum, endometrium (lining of uterus), esophagus, kidney and pancreas.

3. Be Safe in the Sun

  • You don’t have to avoid sunlight completely, but too much sunlight can be harmful.
  • Sun exposure adds up day after day and happens every time you are in the sun.
  • American Cancer Society recommends simply staying in the shade to limit UV exposure, but if you are going to be in the sun, remember to “Slip!”, “Slop!”, “Slap!” and “Wrap!” to protect yourself from UV rays:
    • Slip on a shirt
    • Slop on sunscreen
    • Slap on a hat
    • Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them

4. Find Cancer Early

  • Screening increases the chances of detecting certain cancers early, when they are most likely to be curable.
  • Learn what screening tests the American Cancer Society recommends and when you should have them. (www.cancer.org/healthy/findcancerearly/index)

Bonus: Other Ways to Prevent Cancer

  • Visit www.cancer.org to learn about potential carcinogens in your home and environment.
  • Talk to your physician to determine if certain genetic testing is recommended for you.

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