Yesterday, I talked about how colon cancer has affected my family. Three of my grandparents beat this disease, but I lost an Aunt to colon cancer that was very dear to me. This disease has been an issue in my family and I believe that it is fruitless to talk about it without suggesting some solutions. Therefore, I am going to discuss ways that we all can make a difference in the fight against cancer.
1. Make financial contributions to agencies that support cancer research. This can be done by giving a monetary gift in memory or in honor of someone you love. You can even donate an old or used car. Organizations that support cancer research and education, such as the American Cancer Society or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, are great choices.
2. Be a cancer advocate. Write letters to government officials encouraging them to support legislation that makes a difference in the fight against cancer. Make sure cancer awareness events are covered throughout your community by writing letters to the editor or contacting the media.
3. Consider volunteering your time. If you know someone with cancer, ask how you can help them or their caregiver(s). Call agencies that help persons with cancer and ask if they need volunteers. I started volunteering with Relay for Life, which is an annual fundraiser held by the American Cancer Society to celebrate survivors and remember those we have lost to cancer. It’s my way of making a difference.
Below are some things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting cancer.
1. Get active. It is recommended that you exercise five times per week for at least thirty minutes. Recent research suggests that you can actually break your exercise sessions up into 10 minute increments and still see benefits.
2. Eat healthy. Make sure your diet contains plenty of fiber. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Reduce your intake of fried foods and red meat.
3. Know your family history. If there are certain types of cancers that tend to run in your family, talk with your doctor about how often you should be screened.
4. Quit using tobacco products. Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death. Smoking and dipping increases your risk of getting lung, esophageal, throat, colon, kidney, pancreatic, and oral cancers.