Valley Healthcare

February is Cancer Prevention Month.  According to the American Cancer Society, each year more than one million people in the United States develop some form of cancer.  All cancers start when abnormal cells grow out of control. [1]  Knowing your risk factors and regular screenings are your first best defense against developing this disease.

PREVENTION TIPS

 

  • Stay away from tobacco products from the start. Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 443,000 deaths each year, including approximately 49,000 deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke. [3]
  • Always wear sun protection even on cloudy days. Melanoma is a serious skin cancer that can develop at any age.  Have your children’s skin checked for changes in moles or freckles at their doctor’s visits.  It’s never too early to start screenings.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and being active is very important.  Your outward appearance is a direct effect of what’s going on inside your body.  If you notice any changes in appearance or just feeling not quite yourself lately, call to schedule a check-up. Keeping an open line of communication with your health care providers is essential in your over-all well-being.
  • Physical activity always counts!  Any amount of time dedicated to purposeful movement could lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.  For substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. [4]  Try combinations of cardiovascular exercises and weight training. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — make sure you always talk to your doctor before starting any type of workout program.
  • Eating a variety of fresh foods is key to keeping any disease away.  Here are some top nutrient-rich foods to add to your shopping cart.

a)    Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale all get high marks for containing many anti-cancer nutrients.

b)    Grapes and red wine for the resveratrol.

c)    Legumes for the saponins and protease inhibitors.

d)    Berries, for the ellagic acid and anthocyanosides.

e)    Garlic, onions, scallions, leeks and chives, for many anti-cancer substances including allicin.

f)    Green tea, for its anti-cancer catechins, a potent antioxidant.

g)    Tomatoes, for the famous flavenoid lycopene. [2]

 

SCREENINGS

At which age should you start getting regular cancer screenings?  Starting at about age twenty, having periodic canter-related checkups should include health counseling.  Providing young people with the knowledge necessary to take control of their life is powerful.  Your doctor will help you decide which tests you should have during different stages of life taking into consideration family history and lifestyle factors.

The goal of cancer screening is to reduce the number of people who develop and die from cancer. [1]  Talk with your doctor about which screening tests are right for you and the benefits and risks of these tests.  Call Valley Health Care today and make an appointment to talk with a physician about your cancer screening!

[1] Cancer.net [2] care2.com [3] cancer.gov [4] mayoclinic.org


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

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