Guest Post by Monique Rowe
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many of us are scrambling to find sweet and thoughtful gifts for our loved ones. Often the most important gift is right in front of us and often overlooked. Cancer prevention and early detection are the best gifts of all because they ensure that our families and friends get the most valuable gift- a happy and healthy us.
Cancer prevention and awareness have gotten a lot of attention in recent years. It seems every month there is a race or benefit of some kind to raise money for cancer research. People come out in droves to attend these events and make their donation because everyone knows someone whose life has been affected by cancer. It’s important to know that there are other ways to do our part as well.
Adults need to be educated about the early detection of cancer. According to the Friends of Cancer Patients organization, early detection of breast cancer increases a patient’s survival rate to 95%. Dr. James Bassett of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation says that when it comes to testicular cancer, “More than 90% of men who receive treatment will ultimately be cured. If caught in the early stages, cure rates are even better.” Oral cancer experts with The Oral Cancer Foundation believe that when this kind of cancer is detected early a patient’s five year survival is 80%.
These statistics are staggering and cannot be ignored. Early detection is the most powerful weapon in cancer prevention. The way in which we can prevent cancer using early detection is to follow some simple guidelines for screens and tests. The National Cancer Institute suggests that women should perform monthly self breast exams and get annual mammograms if they are 40 years old or older. Annual pap smears help in the early detection of cervical cancer. Men must perform periodic self testicular exams to help in the prevention of testicular cancer.
There are many different kinds of cancer, too many to even count. Each one is different and is often detected in a different way. Cancer is scary but it’s important to know that there is a lot we can do to prevent it. Eating a healthy diet, exercising, not smoking, and limiting alcohol intake are just a few simple lifestyle changes that we can implement. Cancer prevention is continually being studied and researched, and hopefully we are headed to a cure in the near future. In the meantime, do what you can. Get the screenings, complete the self exams to guarantee a long and happy life with the people you love.
Monique Rowe writes for Methods of Healing, an online alternative medicine and natural healing site.