CancerCare Manitoba is preparing for an estimated 50 per cent increase in the number of people diagnosed and living with cancer over the next decade. This is a daunting projection and it demonstrates why cancer prevention is so critical.
The Foundation launched the Kick Cancer campaign in early 2014. With your help we can reduce the impact of cancer on all Manitobans.
Reduce your risk of cancer by up to 50 per cent with these five basic steps:
Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke. More than 800 Manitobans die annually because they smoked or were exposed to second-hand or “passive” smoke.
- If you are a smoker, quit now and reduce your lung cancer risk by up to 90 per cent!
Millions of Canadians have quit smoking and you can too! Talk to your health care professional to learn how they can help you quit.
- Non-smokers: Two-thirds of the smoke from a burning cigarette goes into the air, and contains more hazardous substances than inhaled smoke, including twice as much nicotine and 70% more tar. Avoid second hand smoke at all costs!
Choosing a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will help you maintain a healthy weight. Each year nearly 2000 Manitobans are diagnosed with a cancer related to an unhealthy diet and 30% of all cancers diagnosed are weight-related. Eat well and reduce your overall cancer risk by up to 35 per cent! It’s as easy as following Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating:
- Grain Products: choose high fibre, whole grain and enriched products
- Vegetables and Fruit: eat 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and choose dark green and orange fruits and vegetables
- Milk Products: choose lower-fat milk products
- Meat and alternatives choose leaner meats, poultry and fish, as well as dried peas, beans and lentils
- Limit alcohol intake to less than 1 drink/day for women and less than 2 drinks/ day for men
Being active is important to staying healthy and helping to maintain a healthy body weight. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of colon cancer and may also reduce your risk of breast cancer. It can also reduce stress, increase energy levels and improve your outlook on life. You don’t need to run a marathon or spend hours at a gym. It’s easy to stay active:
- Take a walk once a day
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Spend less time in front of the television or computer
- Play actively with your kids
- Walk, wheel or cycle for short trips
- Find out about walking and cycling paths nearby and use them
Protect yourself and your family from exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays via the sun or tanning beds, and check your skin regularly for any changes. Not only can UV exposure cause premature wrinkles and age spots, it can increase the risk for developing malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.
- Avoid the sun from 10am to 4pm and protect yourself outside during these times by seeking shade
- When you are in the sun:
- Wear clothing to cover your arms and legs
- Put on a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
- Use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) about 30 minutes before you leave the house and reapply hourly
- Tanning beds and sunlamps are not a safe way to tan
Remember: Even Manitoba’s abundant winter sunshine can have an effect, so follow these guidelines all year!
Follow cancer screening guidelines and report any health changes to your doctor or dentist. Regular screening tests and visits to your doctor and dentist can help find cancer at an early stage. The earlier cancer is found the more successful the treatment is likely to be.
- Get to know your body. Tell your doctor or dentist about any changes that you notice as soon as possible, like sores that don’t heal or a cough that lasts more than a couple of weeks. Health care professionals are trained to spot the early warning signs of cancer and other diseases
- For women, discuss breast exams, mammography and Pap tests with a health professional
- For men, discuss testicular exams and prostate screening with a health professional
- Both men and women should also discuss screening for colorectal cancer at age 50