This is breast cancer awareness month. It is the leading cause of cancer, and cancer related death, for women. This month I want to you to think of all cancers and how you can live a healthier life toward prevention.
But I’m going to be honest. While I firmly believe in prevention in wellness/healthcare, prevention of cancer is like trying to find a magic sword to slay a dragon. It would be great if we could definitively say “x-y- and z cause cancer so DON’T DO IT”.
While this graphic is a great start to understanding how lifestyle factors cause cancer, what I’ve witnessed in my life is this:
Cancer doesn’t discriminate and it sucks.
I have known women (and men) who lead very healthy lives by all accounts yet still get cancer and die. I have known people who had every chronic disease condition in the book; smoked, were overweight, ate horribly, were sedentary and yet not a single cancer cell invaded their body.
In my family alone, my mother had every chronic disease and smoked until she was 76-ish yet never had cancer. We just recently learned that my aunt and my father were diagnosed with cancer. One led a relatively healthful life, the other (my aunt, a previous breast cancer survivor) smoked up until a month ago. It is just a horrible disease with no mercy.
So why bother trying? Because it’s the better than not doing anything at all. And, the overall quality of your life is better.
When we exercise, eat well, quit smoking, lose weight, manage our stress and overall well-being, we feel better, have less disease overall, and have SOME kind of fighting chance against cancer. Studies have shown that people who are healthy have a better chance of tolerating the treatment and surviving cancer than those who are already sick with chronic illnesses.
So, this week – Give your health a fighting chance with movement, exercise, better nutrition and other stress relieving well-being habits.
Make a commitment to yourself, a loved one you’ve lost to cancer or who is battling it now, to take care of your total wellness every day.
Thank you and make it a great week!