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National Cancer Control Month (April)

April is National Cancer Control Month. Listed below are the percentages of the top three cancer cases that occurred in 2008, in relation to all diagnosed cancers. The list that follows is the percentages of people that died from a specific cancer in 2008, again, related to all cancer deaths.

2008 Estimated Cancer Cases

Men Women
Prostate 25% Breast 26%
Lung and Bronchus 15% Lung and Bronchus 14%
Colon and Rectal 10% Colon and Rectal 10%

2008 Estimated Cancer Deaths

Men Women
Lung and Bronchus 31% Lung and Bronchus 26%
Prostate 10% Breast 15%
Colon and Rectal 8% Colon and Rectal 9%

For men and women, the lists are similar. The more frequently diagnosed cancer for men is prostate and breast for women, but the cancer that takes the highest number of lives for both men and women is lung and bronchus. Your risk for cancer depends on a number of factors, including your family medical history, your environment, and the lifestyle choices you make. You have no control over your genetics and cannot change them, but you can control what you eat and drink, how you live, and where you work which all can have an impact on your risk for cancer.

Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society. Smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body, is linked to at least 15 different cancers, and accounts for some 30% of all cancer deaths. Smoking is responsible for about 87% of lung cancer deaths. The number of new cases of lung and bronchus are 114,690 for males and 100,330 for females. The number of deaths from lung and bronchus are 90,810 for males and 71,030 for females.

Except for quitting smoking, the best way to cut your risk of cancer is to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, to be physically active on a regular basis, and to make healthy food choices. One-third of cancer deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, and carrying excess weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of several cancers, including cancers of the breast (among women past menopause), colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, and other organs. Other environmental factors that are important to learn about are sun exposure, infectious diseases, as well as chemicals and radiation in our homes and workplaces.

Assess what your risks are related to family history, what you eat, how active you are and other lifestyle choices. Learn how to prevent cancer through lifestyle changes and how to detect cancer early through diagnostic tests and self exams (breast and testicular). Plan changes, act on these changes and then evaluate your success. If you don't see the success you were trying to achieve, don't quit, just change you plan.

Please see www.cancer.org for more information about cancer.

Information provided by Dana H. Breeding, RN Health Educator from Community Wellness, at Augusta Health. To contact her related to the above information, please call 332-4988 or 932-4988.