SELLERSVILLE, Pa., December 30, 2013
– A diagnosis of cancer is something you hope to never receive. While you cannot change your genetics, there are steps you can take starting today that may make a big difference in facing the disease. Fox Chase Cancer Center and Grand View Hospital offer some key advice about cancer screening and healthy lifestyle habits to help reduce your cancer risk. In 2014, make it your New Year’s resolution to fight cancer proactively. Here are some tips:
1. Get regular cancer screenings.
Screening tests are available for various types of cancers, such as breast, colorectal, prostate, and cervical cancers. Having regular screenings may improve your chances of discovering cancer at its earliest stages, when it may be treated more effectively.
“It is important to talk with your doctor about cancer screening, when you should begin screening and how often these tests should be repeated,” says Mark L. Sobczak, MD, Chief Network Officer at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
2. Avoid smoking or using tobacco.
Smoking cigarettes is linked to an increased risk of developing many types of cancers, including bladder, cervical, esophageal, kidney, lung, oral, pancreatic, and stomach cancers.
Quitting smoking, or not starting the habit at all, is one of the best thing you can do to help prevent cancer, no matter your age and even if you have smoked for years. In addition, the use of other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, has been linked to an increased risk of oral and pancreatic cancers. Even if you don’t smoke, being around those who do may increase your cancer risk through exposure to secondhand smoke.
"A family history of cancer can increase your risk of developing cancer and is an area you are unable to control," said Howard S. Zipin, MD, medical director of the Grand View Regional Cancer Program, Grand View Hospital. “However, early detection with regular cancer screenings in addition to cancer prevention techniques such as sun avoidance and smoking cessation can decrease the controllable cancer risks."
3. Make healthy foods a part of your everyday diet.
Maintaining a balanced diet, complete with plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains and beans, may help to ward off cancer. Limit your intake of red meats and high-fat foods. And if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Recent studies have shown that eating healthy costs less than two dollars a day more and has the potential for long term savings in healthcare costs.
4. Exercise regularly.
Research has shown that individuals who lead a physically active lifestyle have a lower risk of certain cancers than those who are sedentary. Such types of cancers include colorectal cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, and endometrial cancer. Exercising and eating right also help you maintain a healthy weight. This is important as obesity may increase your cancer risk.
Aim to fit about 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine. Find something you enjoy, whether it’s taking a brisk walk, playing a sport, riding your bike, or joining a fitness class.
5. Protect your skin from the sun.
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays may lead to skin cancer. Even in winter, the sun’s UV rays can do damage to your skin. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 or higher every day. Limit sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wear sunglasses with 99-100 percent UV absorption to protect your eyes and surrounding skin. Avoid other sources of UV light, such as tanning beds and sun lamps.
Learn more about cancer risk and resources at Fox Chase Cancer Center and Grand View Hospital by visiting www.foxchase.org and www.gvh.org.
As a Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner, Grand View has early access to new research discoveries on cancer prevention and treatment. Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners is a select group of community hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey affiliated with Fox Chase Cancer Center—part of Temple University Health System—to provide the latest in cancer research, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in their own communities. Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners offers patients, families, and their physicians enhanced resources to deal with the burden of cancer, including the newest clinical trials.
About Grand View Hospital
Grand View Hospital, Bucks County’s first hospital, has provided residents of Bucks and Montgomery counties with comprehensive healthcare services since 1913. Now a century strong, Grand View offers a range of inpatient and outpatient care—particularly emphasizing the areas of surgery and orthopaedics, women’s and children’s health, heart and vascular care, and cancer treatment. For more information about services and programs, visit www.gvh.org.