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Green is the Color of Cancer Prevention Month - February

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Rio Grande Cancer Foundation
Rio Grande Cancer Foundation
Rio Grande Cancer Foundation
  Patty Tiscareño / Special to the Times   4 min read 9 years ago

Green is the Color of Cancer Prevention Month - February

Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear Wildfire prevention campaign is the longest running public service campaign in U.S. History. The original catch phrase from the iconic bear was ‘care will prevent 9 out of 10 forest fires’, and was later changed to “Remember; only you can prevent forest fires.”

I’m not really sure how many fires have been prevented because of the campaign, but in our camping family, we believed in the bear. All campfires were properly doused, trash was hauled away and we left the forest just a bit better than we had found it.

Prevention messages work. Clever slogans like “spread fun – not flu” or “click it or ticket” empower us and put us in charge of our own health and wellbeing.

In honor of February, the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation and the Colors of Cancer support National Cancer Prevention Month by sharing some of our favorite slogans designed to help prevent a cancer diagnosis.

It’s never too late to check that prostate! – the most common cancer in American men, about 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. While the exact cause of prostate cancer is not known, risk factors such as age, race and family history contribute. Lowering your risk of getting prostate cancer can begin with maintaining a healthy body weight, physical activity and a nutritious diet. Couple that with an annual physical to include a digital rectal exam and a PSA (prostate-specific antigen test) to make it a well-rounded effort.

Show you care, be aware. Many types of cancer can be found before they cause symptoms. One of the simplest tools in the prevention arsenal is Breast Self-Examination. Breast changes are very common, especially as we age, so monthly self-examination gets you into the habit of monitoring any variation from your norm. Look for changes in the breast or nipple and any redness or swelling. Nipple discharge and the presence of lumps are a prime reason enough to seek medical attention.

Make like an eclipse and block the sun.
I regularly count my blessings that I live in the Sun City where the words “snow shovel” have neither significance in my vocabulary nor a place in my garage. However, just because we are desert-rats doesn’t mean we are immune to sunburn. The older we get, the higher the risk of developing skin cancer. Staying indoors during peak sun hours, using sunscreen with SPF 30+, a broad-brimmed hat and a long-sleeved shirt are the best ways to prevent a skin cancer diagnosis.

Make the most of every day, early detection is the way.
In 1927, while studying the microscopic appearance of cells, George Papanikolaou discovered that cancerous cells could be identified by examining a smear from the uterine cervix. To this day, the Pap smear has become the most widely used cancer screening method in the world and can help early diagnosis cervical cancer and human papillomavirus or HPV, a common infection which can lead to cancer.

Get your colonoscopy today and put it behind you!
Regular screening beginning at age 50 is the key to catching colon cancer in its earliest stage. The second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, colon cancer affects both men and women and can be diagnosed early through tests like the fecal occult blood test, the flexible sigmoidoscopy and the colonoscopy. Those in the know about the colonoscopy will attest that the prep is the hardest part. The good news is that the test is good for ten years!

According to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, it is estimated one in three women and one in two men will develop cancer sometime in their lifetime. Cancer has simply become a chronic disease. It is in your power to reduce these statistics through lifestyle changes which include physical activity, sensible eating habits, the absence of tobacco and screening exams to detect cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage.
Take the prevention pledge today and do your part to ‘give cancer the boot!’

Patty Tiscareño
Executive Director
Rio Grande Cancer Foundation

Rio Grande Cancer Foundation

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