Learn the Strategies That Can Help Keep Cancer at Bay
November 17, 2022
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 2 million cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2022, and that more than 600,000 people will die due to cancer this year. That said, there are steps you can take to lessen the chances that you develop, or die from, cancer.
This is especially important as we move past the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted many people’s routines regarding healthcare — postponing doctor’s visits, health screenings and even care for serious conditions — for much of the past two years.
There are three main areas you can address to give yourself the best chances of avoiding, or surviving, cancer.
Early detection is key to cancer survival. An early diagnosis can provide patients with more — often less-disruptive — treatment options. One key to early detection is to schedule and follow through on routine screenings, as cancer at its early stages can be asymptomatic but still detectable.
Consider screenings for these cancers at your next checkup:
- Cervical cancer
- Breast cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
Some cancers are caused by viruses and can be avoided through vaccination, including:
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which has been linked to cervical, anal, throat, vaginal, vulvar and penile cancers.
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV), which over time can lead to a higher risk for liver cancer.
Check with your doctor about whether you’ve received these vaccinations and, if not, schedule them.
Caring for your body and keeping to a healthy lifestyle can also lower your risk of cancer. Take these steps to avoid common cancers:
- Protect your skin against the sun. Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer, primarily caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds. Protect yourself from the sun by applying sunscreen and wearing sun-protecting clothing and accessories.
- Avoid smoking. Lung cancer is predominantly linked to cigarette smoking. Smokers have 25 times greater risk of lung cancer, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
- Exercise and maintain a healthy diet. Obesity can have negative effects on the body, including inflammation and higher levels of insulin and sex hormones, which can put you at higher risks of several cancers.
The Manatee Physician Alliance offers several services to aid in the prevention and treatment of cancer, including:
- Dr. Jose Erbella’s Weight-Loss & Anti-Cancer Workshop, a five-week seminar on nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles that promote longevity.
- The Breast Care Center, our dedicated clinic that provides a breast cancer program with extensive services to the roughly 40,000 women in Manatee County who are at high risk for breast cancer.