Did you know one out of three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime?
A cancer diagnosis could mean fewer birthdays. Let your new year mean more to you while making a difference for your community. Experts agree the key to celebrating more birthdays is to stay well and give back.
The American Cancer Society is encouraging the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors and volunteerism throughout the new year to reduce cancer risk and help save lives.
Evidence suggests that by taking preventive measures that will help you stay well – such as regular screenings, daily exercise, a healthy diet and not smoking – you can reduce your risk of cancer by nearly half. You can also join the more than 160,000 California cancer society volunteers in order to save lives and create more birthdays.
According to the American Cancer Society, most cancer deaths could be prevented by taking the right steps towards reducing cancer risk. However, many Californians do not realize that their lifestyle choices could impact their risk of cancer, and potentially save their lives. Here are some ways to help you make healthier choices in the coming new year:
Health: Regular use of screening tests can prevent the development of some cancers and improve survival and decrease mortality by detecting cancers at an early stage, when treatment is more effective. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women age 40 and over, and regular colon cancer screenings for men and women age 50 and over, among other recommended screening tests.
Active: Adults are encouraged to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on five or more days of the week; children and adolescents should also engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day at least five days a week. Studies show that being physically active for 45 minutes on five or more days a week can reduce the risk of breast and colon cancers.
Nutrition: Being overweight and/or obese increases risk for developing many cancers, including cancers of the breast and colon, and recent studies suggest that losing weight may reduce risk of breast cancer. To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, the American Cancer Society recommends the following dietary guidelines:
Quit: Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease in California. Tobacco use increases the risk of cancer, including cancer of the lung, mouth, pancreas, kidney and other cancers; 30 percent of cancer deaths, including 85 percent of lung cancer deaths, can be attributed to tobacco use.
Volunteer: Pick an organization and give back to your community. Volunteering turns a little time into a lot of good. It’s an opportunity to put your special talents to work for the good of others. Or, consider an end of year charitable donation. You can help finish the fight by making a tax-deductible donation to the American Cancer Society by Dec. 31.
For more information about programs, services or to volunteer, contact your American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
Charaighn Sesock is the director of media relations for the American Cancer Society, a partner of Solano Coalition for Better Health.