April is coming to a close and with it, Cancer Awareness Month. With cancer gripping the lives of millions of individuals and their family members, chances are that you’re aware of the debilitating impact it has on personal health and well-being nationally. Currently, America ranks seventh highest in the world for diagnosed Cancer citizens. In 2012, nearly 600,000 Americans died because of cancer and/or cancer related complications, amounting to nearly 1,500 people a day. There isn’t an American today that doesn’t know somebody who has been directly affected by the disease. While most of us are well aware of the hold cancer has on the country, many of us are not fully aware of what exactly ‘cancer’ is.
What is cancer?
According to the dictionary, cancer can be characterized as:
a malignant and invasive growth or tumor, especially one originating in epithelium, tending to recur after excision and to metastasize to other sites. Cancer is also defined as any disease characterized by such growths.
Essentially, cancer is actually a group of diseases that are characterized by
the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. When the spread of these abnormal cells goes uncontrolled, it can result in a long list of devastating physical consequences, one of which is death.
Cancer can be caused by both external and internal factors. Some of these factors may include, but are not limited to; tobacco, infectious organisms, radiation, chemicals and genetic mutations, hormones or immune conditions. All of these factors (and many more) may act together, or in sequence to promote the growth of abn
What can we do?ormal cells. Often, up to ten years or longer pass between the affectation from internal and external sources, and diagnosis. The extensive span of time between affectation and diagnosis is frequently reported as one of the major influences as to whether or not a person is able to successfully pull through treatment. Treatment for cancer can include; surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy (ie: a specific location or area of the body) and biological therapy.
There is no one preventative measure or point of action that we can take to guarantee ourselves immunity from cancer. Every day, new reports leave us with a vague road map as to the preventative steps we can take. Eat more broccoli, drink coffee, don’t drink coffee, choose organic, etc. The truth is, we don’t have the answers yet. That’s not to say some of our country’s greatest researchers aren’t working around the clock to find preventative options, less invasive treatments, easier means of diagnosis and a cure.
Our brightest minds in science, medicine and technology are doing everything they can to help us lead long, healthy, dynamic lives. While we wait for more lights to turn on in the dark recesses of the disease, we to, must do everything we can to do our part in promoting holistic health and well being, both within our communities, and our day to day lives.
Researchers estimate up to one-third of the most common cancers can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, being more physically active and making wise nutritional choices. Studies show that maintaining a healthy weight throughout life can prevent more than 100,000 incidences of cancer.
Eating less red meat and more whole grains and vegetables, which are rich in fiber and a lot of antioxidants, can help maintain a healthy weight.
Avoiding tobacco smoke and sunburns could also help reduce cancer rates, she says.
Avoid tobacco, in every way and shape possible. Exposure to tobacco, whether directly or indirectly (ie: second hand smoke) puts you on a direct collision course with Cancer. Don’t smoke. Don’t chew tobacco. Avoid second hand smoke as much as possible. If you are an active smoker, please, for your own health, and the lives of the people who love you; quit now. Avoiding tobacco is one of the most important health decisions you can make.
Omega-3’s are amazing when it comes to promoting overall personal health and well being. One of the incredible health benefits associated with optimal omega-3 intake, omega-3’s ability to reduce inflammation in the body (inflammation is a pre-cursor to cancer).
We recommend you speak with your health care practitioner regarding other measures you can take to promote your own personal health and well being. Creating a customized health care plan with your family physician will provide the tools you need to lead a long, healthy, happy life. We also recommend that you spread awareness within your family and community – awareness is can lead to healthier changes and, hopefully,
We also recommend talking about healthier living. While there is a lot of information about cancer, it is still important to continue to spread awareness. Positive information on healthy living could be the game changer in someone’s life that helps them avoid getting cancer in the future.