April is National Cancer Control Month; a time to remember those who are fighting cancer, those we’ve lost to cancer and recognize the healthcare professionals, scientists and researchers working to discover a cure and treatments.
Advancements to fight and defeat cancer have resulted in an overall decline in cancer deaths over the past 20 years but much remains to be done. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2018 there will be 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed and 609,640 cancer deaths in the United States, including 2,000 children. According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 40% of all Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
Thanks to cancer treatments and early detection, life expectancy of cancer patients is rising, but cancer prevention remains an important challenge. Prevention and screenings are the best way to fight cancer.
Research highlights lifestyle decisions that you can make to reduce your risk of cancer and increase your odds of catching cancer in its earliest stages, including:
- Quitting tobacco (it is the leading cause of cancer according to the American Cancer Society)
- Eating healthy foods including a high fiber diet rich in vegetables and fruits
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- Using sun protection
- Knowing your family medical history
- Regular screenings and an annual preventive care physical with your primary care provider
More than 15 million Americans have beat cancer and this month we salute all who play a role in helping to prevent, treat and defeat cancer. Make time today to learn and practice the steps you can take to prevent and control cancer.