FEBRUARY IS NATIONAL CANCER PREVENTION MONTH
You are likely familiar with the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." But when it comes to cancer - prevention (and early detection) can mean the difference between life and death.
The federal government estimates that nearly 2 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer (other than non-melanoma skin cancer) during 2023, and that more than 600,000 died from their disease. Research has shown that more than 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed and nearly half of all deaths from cancer in the United States can be attributed to preventable causes - things like smoking, excess body weight, physical inactivity, and excessive exposure to the sun. This means that we can lower our risk of getting many common kinds of cancer by making healthy choices. Additionally, screening tests can find some cancers early and vaccines are available that can help prevent certain types of cancer.
During National Cancer Prevention Month, Summit Medical Group wants to share five simple ways you can prevent cancer or find it early, when treatment works best:
Don't Smoke or Aim to Quit
- Smoking and secondhand smoke cause 90% of lung cancer deaths in the United States.
- The use of tobacco products is linked to cancers of the larynx, mouth and throat, esophagus, urinary bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, colon, rectum, liver, and stomach.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
- Skin cancer is the most common and preventable cancer in the United States.
- Be sure to use adequate sun protection year-round and never use indoor tanning beds.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Overweight and obesity are associated with at least 13 types of cancer, including endometrial (uterine), breast, and colorectal cancer.
- Controlling your weight through physical activity and healthy eating reduces your risk for cancer.
Limit Alcohol Intake
- Heavy drinking and binge drinking increases the risk of breast, liver, colon, rectum, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus cancer.
- Men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and women no more than one.
Know Your Family Health History and Get Regular Cancer Screenings
- Knowing your family health history can help you and your doctor determine which screening tests are needed and when.
- Regular cancer screenings are essential to detect cancer or precancerous conditions before symptoms occur.
Summit Medical Group provides a variety of screenings and tests to detect various forms of cancer. Talk to your doctor today to see if you are at a higher risk for certain types of cancers and what screenings or tests may be right for you. For additional information or to find a Summit provider near you, visit www.summitmedical.com.