Mahaska Health Partnership Recognizes National Cancer Prevention Month
If you’ve already found yourself falling behind on your New Year’s resolution, Mahaska Health Partnership encourages you to use National Cancer Prevention Month as a chance to renew your commitment to being healthy.
Cancer is a disease that attacks cells in your body and causes them to behave and reproduce in an uncontrolled way. When several of these cells form an abnormal mass, this is called a tumor. Tumors that test positive for cancer can spread throughout surrounding tissues and damage other cells and organs.
“Cancer can be detected in a several ways,” shared MHP Family Nurse Practitioner Tina Main. “Imaging tests such as mammograms and Computed Tomography (CT) can be used to detect tumors, while other types of cancers can be identified with a complete physical, colonoscopy or laboratory analysis of blood and tissue.”
There is no single cause of cancer, but it’s been proven that many significant cancers are caused by lifestyle choices such as smoking, excess body weight and poor diet.
“Everyone knows someone who is directly affected by cancer,” said Main. “There are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of becoming another one of those people.”
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), there are three main things you can do to reduce your cancer risk. The first is to choose plant-based food and limit your intake of red or processed meats. This is similar to the Blue Zones Project’s Power 9® Principle: Plant Slant. The second thing you can do is exercise regularly. This means getting at least thirty minutes of activity each day. The final prevention tip from the AICR is to aim to be a healthy weight throughout life.
“If you feel your weight is getting out of control, do something about it now. Later it will be a lot harder to deal with,” reminded Main. “There are many resources available at MHP and throughout Mahaska County that can assist you in living a healthier life.”