Posted in BE SAFE, Cancer Prevention, cancer screening, Disaster Preparedness, Health & Welfare, How to stay healthy

National Cancer Prevention Month

Stop cancer sign. Prevention concept.According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the American Cancer Society, February is not just the month set aside for heart health awareness. It is also National Cancer Prevention Month. Broadly defined, cancer is a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in the body. Note that cancer doesn’t just affect humans. Canines can get the disease, as well. In fact, 50 percent of dogs over the age of 10 will get some type of cancer during the remainder of their lives. An active cancer prevention campaign is crucial, since cancer affects so many Americans:Black and white illustration of a sick dog with a thermometer.

  • More than one million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death for much of the U.S. population.
  • 1,658,370 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2015.
  • 589,430 people died from cancer-associated ailments last year.
  • Approximately 39.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with all cancer sites at some point during their lifetime.
  • The most common types of cancer diagnoses include cancers of the breast (females), lung and bronchus, prostate, colon & rectum, bladder, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid, kidney and renal pelvis, and endometrial.
  • Cancer isn’t fun.

The good news is that cancer diagnoses and associated death rates are declining in the U.S., due to increased awareness, early detection, new treatment protocols, and follow-through on prescribed treatments. Doctors determine the stage of a patient’s cancer relative to the extent cancer has progressed in the body. Staging helps physicians determine treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival rates post-diagnosis. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage one). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is referred to as regional or distant. So it’s a different stage than our son, J.R., enjoys performing on. The earlier cancer is caught; the better chance a person or a dog has of surviving five years after being diagnosed.

Each February, the AICR leads a campaign to inform the public about ways to prevent cancer. The institute considers these 10 lifestyle guidelines critical for cancer prevention:Fotolia_45015523_XS

  • Aim to be a healthy weight throughout life.
  • Be physically active every day in any way for 30 minutes or more. Limit sedentary behavior. Take your dog for more walks!
  • Choose mostly plant foods, Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.
  • Limit red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meat. I guess this means bacon? The horror of it!
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
  • If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to one per day for women and two per day for men.
  • Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with sodium.
  • Don’t rely on supplements to offset unhealthy dietary habits.
  • Mothers are advised to breastfeed babies for at least six months before adding other liquids and solid food to their diets.
  • Cancer survivors should consider treatments advised by medical professionals and should stringently follow recommendations for cancer prevention.

Remember that safety is a daily priority, not just where human or canine cancer is concerned. So be sure to think about ways to #BeSafe all of the time. A convenient and affordable way to make sure you are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe to the RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, which has been designed to help improve and save lives. For more information about the best system out there, or to subscribe, click here.

Posted in cancer screening, mammograms

Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer graphicEach October, our nation observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Based on data prepared by BreastCancer.org, within the next 12 months, some 230,000 women and 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in America. During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we recognize all those who have experienced the anguish associated with breast cancer and amplify ongoing efforts to improve care and bring attention to this disease. I’ve read that dogs don’t get breast cancer but we can contract tumors in our mammary glands.

According to the American Cancer Society, “Cancer starts when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth. Instead of dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells. Cancer cells can also invade (grow into) other tissues, something that normal cells can’t do. Growing out of control and invading other tissues are what makes a cell a cancer cell.”

The American Cancer Society defines breast cancer as, “a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too.”

BREAST+CANCER+AWARENESS+16X9Statistics about Breast Cancer:

Fortunately, there is good news. (Whew. I was beginning to wonder!) There are currently more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, including women currently being treated as well as those who have completed treatment. When breast cancer is caught early, treatments are highly successful and survival rates increase. That IS good news. In fact, death rates from breast cancer have been declining since 1989, with the most significant statistical decreases in women who are younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of early detection through screening, increased awareness, and improved treatment.

10 Steps to take to reduce your risk of breast cancer

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Seems like a good idea even aside from cancer risk.
  2. Stay physically active. I can always get behind this!
  3. Limit how much alcohol you drink. Water is always a healthy choice. I like mine in a bowl.
  4. Follow a healthy diet. I think healthy diets can include lots of bacon.
  5. Seek alternative methods for hormone replacement therapy.
  6. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
  7. Breastfeed your baby.
  8. Consider taking part in clinical trials.
  9. Find out if you have genetic risk factors. (The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer is an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.) If you have inherited a mutated copy of either gene from a parent, you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer during your lifetime. Discuss possible genetic testing, which can identify mutations, with your physician.
  10. Schedule regular mammograms. Ask your doctor about recommended frequency

Whether you or someone you know has breast cancer, or if you would just like to support the effort to increase awareness about the disease, we hope you will find a way to “go pink on purpose for breast cancer” this month. To support the cause, we have “gone pink on purpose” on the RJW social media networks.

The RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to helping improve and save lives. Visit our website for ways proper planning can make a difference in numerous aspects of your professional and personal life.