Headline = Cancer Screening Rates Have Fallen In US
Cancer prevention is a core topic this month. Researchers complain because we know those screened for cancer often survive their cancer more often, but less Americans are pursuing preventative cancer screenings of various types. (See article above)
The authors elude to social / political points about white collar workers having higher screening rates than blue collar workers, and pointing out the obvious fact that we have less employed and insured individuals than in previous years.
This is a health and wellness blog…so why my interest in this topic?
First, cancer screening IS important.
Second, there are very obvious societal, political, ethnic, cultural and financial issues at play when considering access and availability of cancer screening.
This article does a good job of stating the obvious but leaves the reader with a sense of impotence.
It also raises questions….
- What can I do about lack of insurance or jobs with health care benefits? (Their message ….Not much.)
- What can I do to help prevent Cancer?
In tough times, get screened if you can, but if you can’t afford screening at least pursue lifestyle measures proven to help decrease the incidence of cancer.
The following simple tips all can help prevent cancer:
1. Exercise routinely: Become an Everyday Athlete! Even light exercise programs such as walking 3-4 days weekly 20-30 min can decrease incidence of cancer (As well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, etc.)
2. Quit Smoking: (Duh) We’ve known this since the 1950’s.
3. Limit processed foods: Modern foods are laden with chemicals, pesticides, hormones, and additives that can lead to obesity, diabetes, and make you more prone to cancer. Focus on limiting sodas, alcohol, packaged and fast foods. EAT MORE REAL FOOD! Eggs, meat, vegetables, fruits from organic and locally grown sources if possible.
4. Limit Alcohol to 1-2 drinks daily (This is a maximum and professionally I normally recommend less, as little as 2-4 drinks weekly…total)
The above 4 items could decrease cancer rates by double digits if implemented by every man, woman, and child.
Personally I feel empowered knowing I am NOT powerless to change my risk of cancer.
As always I welcome comments and questions.