Cancer is that dreaded six-letter word that unfortunately most of us have experienced- whether through our own personal battle or through a family member or friend. This campaign is to educate people of the facts, prevention and advances in treatment.
After heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Over a lifetime about 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in the U.S. will develop cancer. While that sounds like a lot, cancer rates and death have actually been on the decline since the early 90’s. In even better news, the top cancer scientists in the country are feeling optimistic about the ongoing battle with cancer, and DNA is the reason.
When given the DNA of two different patients, typically the samples are going to look more than 99.99 percent the same. It is in that tiny difference that the secret of what is causing cancer is hidden. What is needed then is a drug that can correct the problems caused by DNA damage. Now, thanks to giant leaps in the science of DNA sequencing, there is hope. Scientists now have the technology to be able to see deep enough into the cells and that means they can create new drugs to target what they’re seeing.
While this news leaves us feeling hopeful and optimistic, we should always remember that when it comes to cancer, early detection and prevention is the best treatment. One-third of cancers detected are related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity and poor diet and nutrition. Be sure you are leading an active lifestyle and maintain and nutritious diet. Also, people who use tobacco, drink heavily and have prolonged and unprotected exposure to sunlight are all at increased risk for certain cancers.
Not only are there new advancements in the treatment of cancer, there are new and more accurate screening methods that allow for earlier detection. This will allow doctors to treat patients before the disease progresses, and the earlier the cancer is found, the better the prognosis.
In honor of National Cancer Awareness Month, implement a better diet and physical activity into your daily routine to lessen your risk of developing the disease and be sure to keep up with all routine screenings. In the meantime, happy –and hopeful- Cancer Awareness Month!