World Cancer Day is not just something you post with a hash tag and then move on, its a day where people all over the world should come together and focus on the seriousness of this disease, CANCER. Yes, I KNOW it’s a very tough discussion many like to over look, but it’s definitely needed! As a cancer research professional and to have experienced many cancer diagnoses personally and professionally that have affected me in ways one couldn’t’ imagine, I understand from both angles how important awareness and action really is.
Currently 8.8million (more than New York City’s population in 2016) people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years).
On this day, February 4th, I challenge EVERYONE to change something they are doing that may increase their risk of cancer. For me, I’ve decided to change my eating habits and incorporate more exercising. This journey hasn’t been easy as I love sweets: cookies, cakes doughnuts, Snicker bars and for some reason I’ve started eating potato chips more often (think I need to research this). You know the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day?” I tell myself this constantly. Also have “the talk” with your loved ones. Let’s not take the simple things for granted. Check your boobies (male & female), that month long cough, rash on your inner thigh or those abdominal pains that you brush off as cramps/gas or that old wound that seems like it doesn’t want to heal. It’s the little things we take for granted that could turn into something much bigger. Let’s pay attention to our bodies, ASK questions, and check on one another and most importantly WE are all in this TOGETHER!! This isn’t a game; it’s your life!
Below are a few preventive measures one could take in lowering their risk of cancer:
- Change diet: reduce fatty foods, limit your sugar in take (VERY hard for me), eat more green vegetables and fruit
- Implement a workout routine: daily 15-30 minute walk, running or bike riding
- Quit smoking
- Avoid Tanning beds and long periods of time with direct sunlight without proper sunscreen
- Reduce alcohol intake
“You beat cancer, by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live.”- Stuart Scott