National Cancer Prevention Month - All You Need To Know
National Cancer Prevention Month is observed every February. It runs throughout the month every year, bringing with it another chance to spread awareness and take action to offer better, healthier, and happier lives to everyone.
Cancer is said to be among the world's leading causes of death, which kills millions of people every year. According to the National Cancer Institute report, approximately 1,806,590 new instances of cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2020, with 606,520 individuals dying from the disease. While these numbers are alarming, you will be surprised to know that one-third of the cancers are preventable. While it is hard to cure cancer, it is crucial to understand how to lower your risk factors so as to reduce it to a minimum. This is why National Cancer Prevention Month is observed every year. For decades, people and organizations have come together in the month of February to spread the word and help the survivors because together, we can make a difference.
If you too want to kick off the month, this article will help you get started. It will introduce you to the risk factors associated with cancer, tips to be the healthiest version of yourself, and ways to observe the prevention month to end the suffering caused by cancer. So, scroll down through the article and get inspired to celebrate National Cancer Prevention Month. It’s time for us to act and create a future without cancer.
Understanding Cancer & Its Risk Factors
Cancer is a deadly disease that arises when alterations in a group of normal cells inside the body start to change negatively. When they become uncontrolled or start to develop abnormally, or result in the formation of a mass known as a tumor, a person is said to be suffering from cancer. It is a serious health concern that develops with time and spreads into the surrounding tissue and other parts of the body. It releases harmful hormones that affect the body's functions and makes it difficult for a person to perform regular activities.
While cancer has existed throughout the history of mankind, we still don’t have a certain way of avoiding cancer. However, there are some risk factors that are responsible for raising the chances. Being aware of the risk factors and talking about them is crucial for making the right choices. It helps in improving health and taking the right treatment at the right time. Here are the risk factors that you must be aware of this National Cancer Prevention Month:
- Older age
- Family history of cancer
- Using tobacco
- Specific chemicals
- Cigarette smoking
- Some types of viral infections
- Immunosuppressive medicines
Preventive Measures To Lower The Risk Factors
Being aware of what cancer is and the associated risk factors are not enough. It is important to take preventive measures. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, receiving regular cancer screenings, stopping smoking, and taking the right actions, the risk can be reduced to a great extent. This National Cancer Prevention Month, make sure you are aware of the preventive measures and incorporate them in your daily regime to avoid the risk factors.
Here are some of the preventive measures or lifestyle changes that you should make in order to reduce the risk of cancer.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products: Smoking and tobacco are the most significant causes of cancer. They have various chemicals that can damage the DNA and raise the chances of getting cancer. If an individual smokes, it is never too late to quit the habit.
- Eat A Healthy Diet and Enjoy Active Lifestyle: Our lifestyle plays a crucial role in deciding our health. In order to prevent cancer, it is the need of the hour to undertake regular exercise and eat healthy meals. One can incorporate a plant-based diet, limit meat and alcohol consumption, maintain healthy body weight, and do at least 30 minutes of physical exercise.
- Protect Skin From Sun Damage: In the United States, skin cancer is among the most common and preventable cancers. And the biggest risk of developing such a kind of cancer is exposure to the sun. To prevent it, you must cover up and use a generous amount of sunscreen before stepping out.
- Get Immunized With Vaccines: There are some infections or viruses that increase the risk of cancer. Hence, it is essential to stay on top of new vaccines. Among all the vaccines, the HPV vaccine and hepatitis B vaccine are of great importance.
- Go For Regular Cancer Screening: Get Screened! This is arguably the most important preventive measure. Screening plays a major role in the early detection of cancer and treating the disease at the right time. It should be a part of the healthcare routine so that you can find cancer before it gets worse. Remember- the earlier the cancer is detected, the more the chances of successful treatment.
- Learn About The Family History: Cancers are inherited. They have genetic tendencies; hence, this National Cancer Prevention Month, it is important to learn about the family history. This will help guide your discussion with the physician and get you tested in time.
- Get Better Sleep: Sleep is vital for health. Good sleep provides the body a chance to repair and reset. It also boosts the energy level and releases some hormones that make a person feel healthy. So, as a preventive measure, everyone should get a good sleep of at least seven hours.
Also Read: Myths That You Should Not Believe About Breast Cancer
The Aim of National Cancer Prevention Month
National Cancer Prevention Month is an awareness month that is observed every year worldwide. The aim of the celebration is to bring together advocacy groups, healthcare practitioners, and the general public to talk about cancer, educate, and enlighten people about preventive measures. It reminds everyone to live healthier lives by making the right choices and decreasing the risk factors.
Amidst our hectic lives, this month is a wake-up call to take health seriously. It also aims at making people stay up-to-date with the ongoing research, updates, progress reports, and cancer prevention developments in the industry. Apart from staying healthy, this month lets people participate in fundraising to help cancer patients and finance critical research.
Also Read: World Cancer Day - Let's Break The Barriers Of Cancer Care
Ways To Get Involved with National Cancer Prevention Month
February is National Cancer Prevention Month and is dedicated to taking prevention seriously. It aims at letting people discover ways to reduce the risk factors and enjoy a healthy life. However, there are some inherited risks that can’t be avoided or altered, but there are certain things that we can do to prevent the diagnosis. This entire month is devoted to the same.
Here are some of the ways by which you can get involved in National Cancer Prevention Month and contribute to saving people’s lives.
Make Donation: A donation can make a huge difference. There are several cancer patients whom you can help simply by donating blood, platelets, hair, or even an organ. This might save someone's life and offer them a better living.
Host Fundraiser: There are several organizations that are working towards the research and spreading awareness about cancer and its preventive measures. This requires a huge sum of money. This National Cancer Prevention Month, you can host a fundraiser and pay the gathered sum to such organizations for the development. This money can also be used for subsidizing the cost of treatment for those who can’t afford it on their own.
Spread The Word: National Cancer Prevention Month is about spreading the word and making people aware. Make sure you don’t keep all the knowledge and information within yourself. You must spread it and empower others with critical knowledge, preventative methods, and risk factors. For this, you can host awareness walks and make use of social media.
Encourage People To Join The Journey: Most cancers are preventable. However, it requires early detection, adequate knowledge, and getting the right treatment. So, this prevention month, you must take part in spreading knowledge and also encourage others to join the same journey. The more people indulge in the journey, the more you can spread awareness.
Schedule The Appointment: One of the most important preventive measures for reducing the risks of cancer is getting screened. This National Cancer Prevention Month, you must schedule an appointment for yourself and your loved ones.
No matter who you are– a cancer survivor, a caregiver, a coworker, a friend, a healthcare worker, a leader, a teacher, a student, or a citizen, you have the ability to overcome cancer for yourself and your loved ones and create a cancer-free world. So, pin this article and participate in National Cancer Prevention Month in any manner you can. Always remember: “Cancer doesn’t wait, and neither should you.”
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