Today, February 4th, is World Cancer Day. What does this mean exactly? The UICC (International Union Against Cancer) and the WHO (World Health Organization) are leading this campaign, which is celebrated once a year, in order to spread the message on how we can all work together to fight cancer. Each year has a different theme, and this year it happens to be focused on cancer prevention…which I am ALL about!
Why care? If you’re reading this, you have probably already been affected by cancer somehow in your life. If you haven’t yet, chances are that at some point you will be affected either directly or indirectly. Cancer is one of those inconvenient things that we don’t exactly plan for, but statistics are continuing to rise, with a projected 12 million people to become diagnosed this year, and another 7.6 million to die from it. Not trying to be a downer here, but those are just the facts.
I happen to be extremely passionate about the cause of fighting cancer, because I’ve been affected more than I’d like by this horrific disease. Just as many other tragedies in life, no one ever thinks it will happen to their parent, their spouse, their child, or their friend. It’s simply not fair, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but new approaches to fighting the disease are promising and survival rates following diagnosis are rising.
I truly believe that one of THE MOST POWERFUL THINGS we can all do to fight cancer is to help prevent it in the first place by living a healthy lifestyle! World Cancer Day’s theme this year is “Cancer can be prevented too.”
Studies have shown that up to 40% of cancers are potentially preventable by taking simple measures like:
•Stop tobacco use and avoid exposure to second-hand smoke
•Limit alcohol consumption
•Avoid excessive sun exposure
•Maintain a healthy weight, through eating healthy and exercising regularly
•Protect against cancer-causing infections
If someone told you that you could potentially cut your chance of ever getting cancer almost in ½ just by doing a few things to prevent it in the first place, wouldn’t you do it?! It’s a no brainer! I realize that even extremely health conscious people still get cancer, but I also know that poor lifestyle choices play a huge role in many of the cancers we see today. It is absolutely our own responsibility to do what we can to help decrease risks for ourselves and for our families.
I am so inspired by the staff at Livestrong HQ in Austin this week, who have all joined in celebrating this day by making commitments for cancer prevention. Check out their wall of World Cancer Day commitments!
So, on this day, I ask each of you to join me and commit to doing at least one thing to help prevent cancer. It can be something as simple as making that doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off for screening, getting in your exercise for the day, making a healthy dinner for your family, wearing sunscreen, eating 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables...anything at all that you can specifically do to help prevent cancer. If you want to commit to more than one, than that is great! Here are mine…
I Commit To:
-Doing 20 minutes of intense cardiovascular exercise.
-Eating 5 servings of vegetables.
-Avoiding foods that contain nitrites/nitrates, aspartame, and other carcinogenic artificial ingredients.
What will you do today to help reduce your chances of getting cancer?
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY FINISHING THIS SENTENCE:
"I COMMIT TO.."