“Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.” Psalm 43:5
October is National Cancer Awareness Month!! We hear enough about this difficult disease from every side—media, research, fund raising, scare tactics, and family history. Many of us are walking in the Relay for Life and I, personally am proud of my daughter in law who is walking the 3 Day, 60 Mile Walk in San Francisco October 2-4th. She walks with the hope that her children will not face the difficulties of cancer than we now have. You are rare is cancer of some kind has not touched your family or circle of friends. What can we do in the name of wellness to further the cause of prevention and treatment?
AWARENESS can take many forms!!
- Look closely at your own body (God’s Temple) and listen to it, not letting any symptom or change go.
- Look at your family history with an awareness of the importance of prevention if cancers run in the family. Know what your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles have dealt with as health issues.
- Read up to date research on cancer prevention, diagnosis, care, and treatments. Do not be swayed by media hype or scare tactics but stand on solid information from reliable sources. Verde Valley Medical Center Hospital Library has a wealth of information on any subject you wish to research & keeps up with reliable sources in information. Visit Karen Fanning (1st floor behind the Cardiac Cath Area) the next time you are in VVMC.
- Participate in local seminars, workshops, and information sessions to glean new and helpful information.
- Follow a simple check list to create your own, self and family, prevention plan:
- Always do your monthly breast self exam to look for lumps and bumps (women AND men alike)
- Ladies, schedule your well woman check if it has been a year since your last pap, mammogram , & consult.
- Make a skin map of moles and freckles and check your skin in the mirror or with a buddy at least monthly. Visit a dermatologist with any unusual changes in that personal ‘map’.
- Men, assure your annual prostate exam and PSA an be aware of any urinary changes that might alert to a problem. Teach your sons and grandsons about monthly testicular exams .
- Schedule your colonoscopy if you are over 45 or have a family history of colon cancers.
- Be sure your Dentist checks your mouth, tongue, & lymph nodes with your annual Dental Check.
- Be aware that Obesity increases risk of many cancers. Look into weight management and Nutrition help.
- Communicate clearly with your Health Care Providers—ask questions, take a list to appointments, and if you have questions–always get a second opinion or be sure you receive adequate answers.
CANCER AWARENESS BEGINS WITH YOU
Pray for all who have cancer, Pray for prevention, and Pray with HOPE for a cure.
Alice Stephenson BSN,RN,PN
Parish Nurse Consultant