National Cancer Control Month is celebrated and recognized each year in April. This month focuses on the importance of early detection and cancer prevention strategies. Bringing awareness to the many ways we can alter our lifestyles to help decrease our overall risk for developing any type of cancer in our lives. Many people are still unaware of these prevention tips and cancer facts. Learn the different ways you can help spread the word about cancer awareness this April for National Cancer Control month!
National Cancer Control Month happens every year in April when all forms of cancer prevention are brought to light. It may seem redundant having yet another month and the focus on yet another cancer, but the decline in rates of cancer found in the world cancer statistics would show otherwise. The rates of newly diagnosed patients are slowly dropping, further proving that more awareness is brought to light, the more people are getting treatment and medical care sooner, thusly extending their lives. National Cancer Control Month is the perfect month to help refocus ourselves on the efforts we can each take to prevent and control cancer in our lives.
This year alone, over half-a-million Americans will lose their lives to cancer, and three times that many will face a new or recurring diagnosis (ACS). During National Cancer Control Month this April, we remember those we have lost, support Americans fighting this disease and recommit to progress toward effective cancer control. To support the effort of educating about cancer, we are sharing seven of the top world awareness of cancer prevention facts. They are:
- Cigarette smoking, excess body weight, and alcohol intake are the three most prevalent modifiable risk factors for cancer, according to an American Cancer Society study.
- Provider and public education, research and advocacy should be the focus of multidisciplinary efforts to prevent and treat obesity, according to recommendations that emerged from an ASCO summit. The recommendations address issues providers face in their efforts to reduce the effects of obesity on morbidity, including cancer incidence, and mortality.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended clinicians counsel children, their parents and young adults about the use of sun-protective behaviors to prevent skin cancer.
- Health care providers appeared significantly less likely to recommend the HPV vaccine to boys than girls. The finding, which emerged from a survey of parents, may contribute to slower uptake of HPV vaccination among boys.
- Less than one-third of Americans understood that obesity and alcohol consumption are risk factors for cancer, according to a national Harris Poll survey commissioned by ASCO. Further, many Americans are not taking cancer preventive actions, and others held misconceptions about cancer risk.
- Men who followed the Mediterranean diet demonstrated a lower risk for aggressive prostate cancer than those who followed other dietary strategies, according to findings published in The Journal of Urology.
- Firefighters are at increased risk for injuries and chronic diseases, including kidney, ureter and pancreatic cancers, respiratory diseases and heritable genetic effects. However, taking skin decontamination measures immediately after fighting fires reduced skin absorption of potentially cancer-causing compounds.
Prevention and screening is and will always be the best defense against cancer. All Americans can decrease their overall cancer risks by living generally healthier lifestyles. This includes diet, weight control, mental stability, limiting sun exposure, limiting alcohol intake, exercising regularly, not using tobacco, and staying on top of regular medical care, check-ups, and treatment plans. Many studies have shown that a trusted physician’s recommendation for treatment is the most powerful factor in the patient getting treatment and following through with each step along the way.
There are many ways that you can help to spread the word on cancer prevention while helping others remember those who lost their fight. The key to the cure for cancer is somewhere inside every person ever affected by this terrible life-altering disease. Here are some ways you can help to share information and bring light to cancer awareness for National Cancer Control Month.
- Wear colors to support cancer awareness—Represent! There are colors for nearly every cancer type, with ribbons for each type, and it is a simple way to get people talking and asking questions. Plus, it shows people what you are passionate about.
- Attend or host an event—There are so many awesome volunteer opportunities and no better way to spend your time and show your unique talents. It is a great chance for friends, family, cancer patients, and cancer survivors to come together and join the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society has great tips for ways to get involved!
- Send a story to your local newspaper—If you know an inspiring story, write it up, and send it to your local newspaper! People care so deeply for their communities, that it is a surefire way to gain involvement. If you are not much of a writer, fear not! Read through cancer survivor testimonials and be inspired. Be sure to get the permission of the person you are writing about if it is not yourself.
- Use social media to spread the word—This one is pretty self-explanatory. Status updates, tweets, and pictures draw in awareness. Social media has the power to spread messages in a matter of seconds, so take advantage of it! Or, join one of the hundreds of online cancer support groups.
- Donate—When it comes down to it, financial resources are always a huge help for cancer research. Research garners all kinds of awareness and brings us closer to eliminating cancer for GOOD! Do your own investigating when you’re trying to figure out exactly where to donate or donate to a trusted organization like the American Cancer Society.
- Make Healthy Choices—Continue to make healthy choices for yourself, like eating healthy, exercising regularly, doctor checkups, and avoiding harsh substances, like alcohol, drugs, or tobacco. All of these things help to keep you healthy, create good habits, and help to squash this cancer beast once and for all.
- Volunteer- Volunteering is one of the best ways to lend a hand and a heart. This method of assistance costs you nothing but rewards you with so much! Lend your skills and time to your local cancer support offices, support centers that provide and deliver goods, meals, and medications to those who need it.
The bottom line is that without awareness, medical advancements and monetary funds may not be distributed to where it is needed most. Help yourself, your friends and family along with the rest of the humans in the world and help to prevent cancer!
Journal of Urology