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Education Matters for Cancer Prevention

As the U.S. government continues its work to curb the numbers associated with cancer through its Cancer Moonshot initiative, those actively involved in the undertaking are stressing the need for a greater focus on education meant to promote prevention. The Blue Ribbon Panel associated with the moonshot recently pointed out that many cancers are largely preventable. Unfortunately, strategies designed to promote prevention are not being adopted on a far-reaching basis.

As a new year kicks off, the panel is hoping to see a greater emphasis placed on prevention. It is believed that some 300,000 cancer deaths annually could be prevented if a greater emphasis were placed on education. The American Cancer Society estimates there are about 1.7 million new cases of cancer reported in the United States each year (not including skin cancers). About 500,000 die from the disease.

People who are concerned about cancer risks can help themselves by taking the following steps:

  • Getting educated about personal risks – Speak with a healthcare provider about personal risks related to cancer. Smokers, for example, are at especially high risk for lung cancer. Women may will also find they are at risk for breast cancer while men need to be mindful of prostate cancer risks.
  • Adopting a healthier lifestyle – Eating a proper well-balanced diet and exercising can go a long way in reducing cancer risks. People who are active and maintain a healthy weight are less likely to develop a diversity of obesity-related cancers.
  • Eliminating other risks – Getting educated about common and not-so-common carcinogens can also be very helpful. Find out what potential risks are located in homes, workplaces and foods and strive to lower exposure to these substances.

While not all cancers are preventable, many cases are. When people are educated about their risks and what they can do to avoid them, they can take prevention into their own hands.

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