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National Cancer Prevention Month

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National Cancer Prevention Month

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. It's a time to reflect on your own health and raise awareness for the many kinds of cancer threatening lives. However, just being aware of cancer is not enough. While there is no way to fully prevent cancer, there are things you can do to lower your risk. Since it is National Cancer Prevention Month and Blue Mountain Hospital cares about all of our patients and community, and beyond. We wanted to share a list of things you can do to reduce your risk:

Stay Away from Tobacco & Stop Smoking & Vaping:

Lung Cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths. Each year, more people die of lunch cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Those facts are staggering and scary. However, on a positive note, the number of new lung cancer cases is dropping every year because people are more educated and aware of the negative effects of smoking. Smoking, vaping, and tobacco use are the leading cause of lung cancer development. To help prevent lung (and other types of cancer), it's imperative that you quit smoking, quit vaping, and avoid using any tobacco products.

Maintain a Healthy Weight & an Active Lifestyle

Inactivity and obesity have been linked to a variety of cancers including breast and pancreatic cancer. While a healthy weight and an active lifestyle can contribute to lower cancer risks, it's also just overall good for your body and overall health. Pay attention to what you put on your plate and in your body. Make sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Cut back on red meat. Limit alcohol consumption. Get at least thirty minutes of physical activity. Stand at your desk instead of sit. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Make your health a priority and it could save your life.

Stay Protected from the Sun

What is the most common form of cancer in the United States? Skin Cancer. A study suggests that 4.3 million adults are treated for the most common types of skin cancer every year. And the even scarier part, is that it's also the most preventable cancer. There are so many things that we can do to protect our skin and our health. I know that laying out in the sunshine and maybe seeing some tan lines pop up, but that sun exposure is the leading cause of most skin cancers. Don't forget the sunscreen, cover up, limit your time in the sunlight, and stay away from the tanning beds. Keep your skin safe!

Get Immunized & Vaccinated

There are viruses that are linked to cancer and there are vaccines out there that can help prevent them. The Hepatitis B virus and Hepatitis C virus have been linked to liver cancer. The Human papillomavirus has been linked to cervical, throat, tongue, and other cancers. All three of these viruses have vaccines available that can significantly reduce your risk in developing the various linked cancers. Keep yourself safe early and protect your body from these preventable viruses and, hopefully, cancers down the line.

Know Your Family History

Did you know that 5-10% of all cancers are inherited? And, if you know that you are a family history of certain cancers, you have a better chance of catching them early and being on the watch for warning signs. By telling your doctor an accurate family history of not only cancer, but also any family health problems, they can make sure that they screen early, check for symptoms, and provide health advice tailored to your personal story.

We will be the first to say that you should take all of this advice and try to implement these tips and tricks into your everyday life to help you reduce your risk of cancer and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but when cancer is concerned nothing is guaranteed. In addition to doing everything you can to prevent cancer, you also need to regularly meet with your doctors and participate in regular screenings. Stay safe. Stay healthy. And stand up to cancer.