I recently turned 50 which meant it was time for my first colonoscopy. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths and generally when caught early, has a good cancer prognosis. Yet, 30% of adults age 50 and older have not had a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer! However, getting your first colonoscopy doesn’t have to be scary, and you can prep to make the procedure go as smoothly as possible.
As a kid, the only time I wondered about a colon was whether I used it correctly when writing a paper. As I neared the age of 50, I worried if the 5 feet of my colon was healthy. More people need to worry about their colon too. Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States and is the 3rd leading cause of deaths caused by cancer.1 Colorectal cancer is most often diagnosed in adults over the age of 50 though over the last few decades there has been an increase in the diagnosis of colorectal cancers in adults younger than 50.
What is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout? It's an annual event, held the third Thursday of every November, a date on which smokers nationwide are asked to give up smoking. This year, 2017, that mean it’s on November 16th. Quitting for just one day helps you take action toward a healthier life, and reduce your lung cancer risk.
There are a number of prescription and over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies that can help greatly when stopping the use of tobacco. But quitting typically takes more than that. It requires a change in your lifestyle. It can be done! Here are four things you can do to get on the path to reducing your risks of lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
1. Prepare before you quit smoking.
Preparation is the key to success in any new endeavor. Decide on a specific date to quit smoking, make a plan, and then stick to it. Don’t try to pick a date if you’re in the middle of a major life change such as starting a new job or the death of a loved one. You may end up reverting back to your smoking habit quickly which can be discouraging.
Exposure to ultraviolet light is the primary cause of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers and premature aging. Both of these can be largely avoided by protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays – whether from the sun or tanning beds. If you’re going to be outdoors one of the best things you can do to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen. Wearing protective clothing and avoiding the sun at the hottest times of the day (10 am - 4 pm) can also reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
With so many options, numbers and phrases on sunscreen packages, going to the store to choose the one that’s best for you can be overwhelming. Here are some things to help you understand what you’re reading on a sunscreen label.