Cancer affects many Central Texans in different ways and February is National Cancer Prevention month. Dr. Stephen Brown is a board-certified “Radiation oncologist” with Austin Cyberknife, and he was in studio to talk about cancer screenings and prevention tips.
February is National Cancer Prevention Month. What is the purpose of the month?
National Cancer Prevention Month is observed every February in the United States by health experts, advocates, and individuals concerned with cancer. It is a month when activists and healthcare providers work diligently to spread the word on simple ways that people can lower their risk of a cancer diagnosis.
What are some ways people can lower their chances of being diagnosed with cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, the nationwide health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem, to help reduce your cancer risk, you should do the following things:
- Stay away from all forms of tobacco.
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
- Get moving with regular physical activity.
- Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all).
- Protect your skin.
- Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
- Get regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.
What are some cancer screenings and preventive measures that people can take? Are they covered by insurance?
Cancer screenings, like mammograms, colonoscopies and PSA tests, increase the chances of detecting certain cancers early, when they are most likely to be curable. An important vaccine is the HPV vaccine that prevents infection by certain types of human papillomavirus that may cause cervical cancer, anal cancer, vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer, and possibly some mouth cancer. If you have a new health insurance plan or insurance policy beginning on or after September 23, 2010, there are several preventive services that are covered without you having to pay a copayment or co-insurance or meet your deductible. Check out www.HHS.gov to see what preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act.
If someone is faced with a cancer diagnosis, how can Austin CyberKnife help?
Whether you, or a loved one, have been recently diagnosed or re-diagnosed with cancer, talking to your doctor to learn more about the disease and treatments that are right for you is an important first step. You have many treatment choices and learning about the different cancer treatment options will help you make the right decisions for you. Become your own patient advocate. Get informed and take control by:
- Asking questions
- Doing your own research
- Finding out how different treatments can affect your health and lifestyle
- Seeking a second opinion
It never hurts to get a second opinion. Contact Austin CyberKnife, we are available for second opinions and will help answer any questions you may have about cancer treatment.