October is famous for spooktacular fun as well as raising awareness for Breast Cancer with its juxtaposition of iconic pink ribbons and pumpkins. Though the frightastic festivities are over, please remember the fight against breast—and all—cancers doesn’t end on the 31st.
As a matter of fact, it’s just getting started as each new month focuses attention on one of many individual cancers—but few are blessed with enough media attention to make a difference. Unknown symptoms cause some cancers (ovarian, pancreatic, lung) to grow undetected for years… and by then it could be too late.
A Stage III or IV diagnosis commonly sideswipes disbelieving patients who had no prior physical indication of what was happening. Which is why we all need to do our part in spreading the word. Here’s how you can protect your own health and help the millions battling one of modern history’s most horrific diseases.
- Be vigilant with annual check-ups—schedule next year’s appointment before leaving the doctor’s office and save it on your phone.
- Write down any seemingly “innocent” symptoms (nausea, bloating, fatigue) and discuss each with your physician.
- Request tests that go beyond the current standard of care. Not many women are familiar with CA-125, a blood test that can indicate early signs of ovarian cancer.
- Stop smoking. Period. (A no-brainer though the tobacco industry continues to reap ridiculous profits. Yes, even in 2016.)
- Eat organic or grow your own food whenever possible as pesticides are known to cause cancer.
- Limit alcohol. If you rarely drink, stop. Those who drink regularly should cut down to no more than one drink daily.
- Eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet as both contribute to chronic inflammation, DNA damage and, ultimately, cancer. Can’t say it, don’t eat it.
- Don’t use talcum powder on female private parts as research proves it causes ovarian cancer. Juries nationwide have awarded OC patients multi-million dollar settlements.
- Along with staving off other ailments, daily exercise reduces your risk of cancer across the board.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Connect with nature. Meditate. Think good, feel better.
For the Cause
- Volunteer at a cancer hospital, hospice or support group.
- Offer your talents (writing, design, cold calling) to a non-profit organization.
- Provide rides to and from treatments for those with no immediate family.
- Make a tax-deductible monetary contribution or donate an old car.
- Participate in local fundraising events—from marathons to college relays.
- Cut long hair for children’s hairpieces through Locks of Love.
- Become a cancer coach or sponsor to newly diagnosed patients.
- Speak out and educate family, friends and the community.
Most of all, DON’T FORGET TO VOTE ON NOVEMBER 8. Halloween wasn’t nearly as scary as what could possibly become America’s reality. Despite the sad, circus status of this election, it’s up to everyone to eradicate cancer and the next President will be pivotal in supporting—or not supporting—the cause. Isn’t that the goal?
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