Cancer Prevention Month
The month of February is Cancer Prevention month. The State of Texas recognizes February to raise awareness of this disease. Cancer causes more deaths than any other illness or health issue worldwide. Cancer is a varied group of diseases that are caused by abnormal, invasive cell growth within the tissue of an organ. Cancer cells are capable of spreading to other parts of the body if they are not discovered and/or treated in a reasonable amount of time. The World Health Organization has determined at least 1/3 of all cancer cases are preventable.
Through decades of research, health organizations and officials have determined several habits our citizens can incorporate into their lives to help prevent cancer. Avoiding the use of, or high exposure to tobacco is the best way to prevent lung cancer which has been identified as the most-deadly form of this affliction. Besides lung cancer, tobacco use causes cancer to develop and/or spread in the mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidneys.
Along with lung cancer, skin cancer is another highly common and highly preventable form of this disease. For example, by applying sunscreen regularly, reducing time spent in artificial tanning beds, and/or covering exposed skin while spending time in the sun will reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. These safe practices are especially important during the sun’s peak times. The exact time frames depend on the season, but the rays from the sun are usually strongest from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Another way to reduce the possibility of developing breast, colon, lung, kidney, and/or liver cancer(s) is to establish a healthier diet. This can be accomplished by reducing the intake of processed foods and drinks, like fast food and alcohol, and replacing them with nuts or vegetables and 100% real fruit juices. Gradual changes like these can lead to the ability to maintain a healthy weight which is also proven to reduce cancer in the breasts, prostate, lungs, colon, and/or kidneys.
For many, going to the doctor for regular check-ups can be difficult. Therefore, learning how to perform self-exams can increase the chances of detecting cancer in its earliest stages before the abnormal cells take over the affected organ and/or spread to others. Learn how to perform self-exams and other helpful facts at the following websites MedicineNet.com, Skin Cander Foundation, BreastCancer.org, and/or Six Steps Screening.
The sooner cancer is identified, the better! Cancer treatments are typically much more successful when the abnormal cells are still fairly adolescent and contained. There are many signs and/or symptoms that have been associated with cancer. For example, many who have suffered brain tumors, caused by cancer, experience headaches that will not subside even after treatment. Unrelenting back pain may also be a symptom of colon, rectum, or ovarian cancers. A more visible way to detect potential cancer is through changes in the skin. Skin might begin to look darker, redder, more yellow, etc. You can find a more complete list of signs and symptoms cancer can cause at American Cancer Society.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 512-463-0672