Early detection saves lives!

There seem to be mixed messages about the early detection of cancer:
• Finding cancer early will give you more treatment options and increase your chance of becoming cancer free
• Finding cancer early will increase the time you live after a diagnosis, but it won’t increase your life span

I think the important point is that finding cancer early can be a wake up call not a death sentence. If cancer is diagnosed early, there are more treatment options; people usually require less treatment and the outcomes are usually better than if the cancer is advanced.

If cancer is diagnosed early it can make us more aware of taking care of ourselves and choosing to live a healthy lifestyle so we raise our quality of life.

I know because I had Stage II breast cancer in 1986 when at the age of 41 I was not ready to die. I decided to do everything I could to stay alive and healthy so I changed my lifestyle in a number of ways.

There are no guarantees, but there’s increasing evidence that cancer or a recurrence of cancer can be prevented:
‘Hey, you’ve dodged a bullet this time, here’s an opportunity for you to live a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of a second cancer or another co-morbid condition and also improve your quality of life.’ ”

Kevin Stein, Ph.D., director, Quality of Life Research, Behavioral Research Center, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman of hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, La.; May 2008, Journal of Clinical Oncology


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