February is National Cancer Prevention Month. I’d like to keep this simple. There are many resources available in print and online that you can visit to learn about cancer.
What is Cancer: Cancer is a normal cell that becomes abnormal and grows out of control. It then disrupts a tissue, organ and ultimately organ systems.
What causes Cancer?: Many substances outside of the body, but in many cases the cause is not known. Known cancer causing agent are in gasoline,smoke from house fires, cigarette smoke, pesticides, herbicides, viruses and medications.
How can you prevent Cancer?: It is NOT possible to avoid all possible agent that can cause cancer. You should limit your exposures to known cancer causing agents (carcinogens). Here is a list of some preventive measures one can take:
1. Gasoline contains Benzene known carcinogen. Don’t smell it, don’t breathe it in.Don’t let your children put gas in your car or lawn mower.
2. Don’t Smoke, if you do, don’t smoke around your children in cars or their living spaces.
3. Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation if you drink.
4. If you have sex, protect yourself. Sexually transmitted Viruses can cause CANCER!
5. Read your labels on substances you put in or on your body.
6. Check the report of your public water supply. It is available to the public. Have your well water tested.
7. If you grow vegetables at your home, find out what was on your property before your house was built.
Cancer screening is vital. Check with your physician, clinician, community care center and health department to see what cancer screening are available to you at little to no cost. Some of the common screenings are for Cervical, Prostate, Lung, Breast, Colon and Oral Cancers. Physical examinations can check for Lymphomas, Breast, Testicular, Prostate, Ovarian and Skin Cancers. Prevention and early detection is not only less costly, but could increases your chance for a cure or long term survival.
Do not ignore unusual pain, changes in bowel or bladder habits, prolong coughs, changes in speech, chronic hoarseness, changes in moles or warts, difficulty swallowing, changes in breast (male or female), itching, night sweats, unexplained fevers!!!