Raising Cancer Awareness Through Education

By: Sylvia Villarreal Email
By: Sylvia Villarreal Email

Cancer kills thousands of Americans, but through early screening that number doesn't have to be that high and here in the Brazos Valley there are oncologist who use these early screenings to help save lives and education the public on learning to be cancer free.

When it comes to lung cancer, physicians will agree that this is a preventable disease in both men and women, all you have to do is stop smoking.

Oncologist, Terry Jenkins says, “Smoking cessation programs are probably the most important. Stopping smoking is very difficult…never starting is probably easier.”

While other forms of cancer aren’t considered to be self inflicted, there’s still no reason why anyone as to die from colon cancer because through early screening it can be caught before it even becomes cancer and women need to keep in mind that they can also get colon cancer because it’s not just a disease in men.

Prostate cancer in men is also considered quite curable and once again detecting it early is the key for survival.

“Fortunately, we have very effective screening tools, the rectal examination and PSA being the two most important," says Jenkins.

In women, breast cancer is a disease that much has been learned about because of a great deal of research that has occurred in the past several years. However, one thing’s for sure, mammograms and self breast exams can be lifesavers because they will detect lumps that can be cancerous.

But by making healthy lifestyle choices and exercising regularly, individuals can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

“Typically your first mammogram ought to be around 35 or 40. Some women will be considered higher risks primarily because of family history. There’s really nothing you can do about your family history although you should respect it and discuss screening with your physician or primary care provider," says Jenkins.

Once diagnosed with any form of cancer, treatments could include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of both and depending on the stage of the disease, that will determine how aggressively doctors will proceed.

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