National Cancer Control Month

National Cancer Control Month, which is recognized during the month of April.April is National Cancer Control Month. During this time each year, organizations throughout the United States recognize the burden experienced by people with cancer. Each year, cancer directly impacts millions of individuals, families, and communities, and even the country as a whole. The overall goal of Cancer Control Month is to reduce this impact by:

Preventing as many cancer deaths as possible: Up to 50% of all cancer deaths are preventable through early diagnosis and treatment, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Prevention is one of the most effective methods possible of controlling rates of cancer and cancer deaths. Standard cancer prevention strategies involve:

  • Raising awareness of signs, symptoms, and diagnostic testing procedures
  • Reducing exposure to known cancer risk factors
  • Promoting healthy lifestyle habits that reduce cancer risk

Detecting cancer as early as possible: Early detection of cancer is one of the most important factors for successful treatment, making this an important goal of Cancer Control Month. Cancer prevention strategies, such as patient education regarding risk factors and warning signs, are crucial for encouraging people to visit their healthcare provider for diagnostic testing as soon as possible.

Improving cancer treatments: Many modern cancer treatments are effective when it comes to improving survival rates and quality of life among patients, but further improvements, as well as more research into treatment-resistant forms of cancer, can help prevent an even greater number of cancer deaths.

You can reduce your risk of developing cancer by avoiding certain factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common risk factors for preventable forms of cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as from the sun or a tanning bed
  • Obesity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

If you have noticed potential signs of cancer and require a diagnostic screening or treatment, you can schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Oncology Department. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6742.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death among men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 153,020 cases of colorectal cancer will appear in 2023.

Someone with this form of cancer may only begin to experience symptoms from stage two onward, with many cases only presenting symptoms in the third and fourth stages of the disease. When symptoms appear, they typically include changes in bowel habits and stool consistency, bloody stool, chronic abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss.

The primary risk factor for colorectal cancer is age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend regular screening for this form of cancer starting at age 45. However, if you’re at higher-than-average risk for colorectal cancer, screening may need to begin at an earlier age.

Other risk factors include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • A family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
  • Certain genetic syndromes such as Lynch syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco usage

Aside from improving lifestyle factors such as physical activity levels and nutrition, the best way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is to keep up with regular diagnostic screening. Procedures for screening include:

Stool tests: These tests check for blood or changes to your DNA in your stool. The guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) and fecal immunochemical test (FIT) which check for blood, are performed annually. The FIT-DNA test, which checks the DNA in your stool, is performed every three years.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: This test checks for polyps and cancer inside the lower third of your rectum and is performed every five years or every 10 years if you receive a FIT annually.

Colonoscopy: A standard colonoscopy checks for polyps and cancer throughout the rectum and the entire colon, allowing your doctor to spot and even remove most of them. This is performed every 10 years for people with an average risk of colorectal cancer. Alternatively, a virtual colonoscopy, which produces images of the entire colon using X-rays, can be performed every 5 years.

You can receive a colorectal cancer screening from a gastroenterologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Cancer Prevention Month

Approximately one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point within their lifetime. It is partially for this reason that cancer the second leading cause of death among Americans, accounting for over 600,000 estimated deaths throughout the United States. Nearly half of these deaths are the result of preventable lifestyle factors or a failure to diagnose the disease early.

As there are many different types of cancer, there is no singular way to prevent it; additionally, there is no way to completely eliminate your risk of developing the disease. However, targeting the lifestyle factors that most frequently contribute to the incidence of cancer in general can help you protect your health and remain as cancer-free as possible.

To reduce the risk of cancer, you should:

Avoid smoking: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke causes as many as 90% of lung cancer deaths in the United States. For people who don’t smoke but are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke, the risk of cancer may increase by up to 30%.

Avoid UV light: Exposure to ultra-violet radiation is the most common cause of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. This exposure most frequently occurs due to excessive time in the sun, particularly for people who are not wearing protective sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.

Adopt a healthy diet and exercise routine: Obesity is linked to a wide range of chronic health problems, including at least 13 forms of cancer. A moderate diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, healthy proteins, and a limited amount of meat, paired with an exercise routine that includes a moderate amount of aerobic, strength, core, balance, and flexibility exercises, is ideal for maintaining your physical health and fitness.

Limit alcohol consumption: Your alcohol consumption, even at low levels, is directly correlated with your risk for several different types of cancer. Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink can help reduce your risk, but it is ideal to avoid it entirely, if possible.

Visit your doctor regularly: Typical annual check-ups such as a physical exam from your primary care physician or a skin exam from a dermatologist can help identify signs of cancer that may warrant further testing or a diagnosis. Many forms of cancer are also easiest to treat in their early stages, making regular screenings from cancer specialists helpful for reducing your risk of death.

Expert diagnostic testing and treatment for cancer is available in Queens through Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s joint Oncology program. Our state-of-the-art technology and innovative treatment approaches, coupled with services such as our patient navigation program to help guide you through the entire process, can give you the best possible chance at achieving remission and living cancer-free.

To learn more about our oncology services or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6742.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. During this time of month, Jamaica Hospital urges everyone to adopt healthy lifestyle practices to reduce the likelihood of developing cancer.

ThinkstockPhotos-159290583According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) there are three factors that we have control over that affects our risk of developing this terrible disease. They are: What we eat, how active we are and how much we weigh. The AICR states that the best protection against cancer is to control all three.

Let’s look at them one at a time:

What We Eat
Choosing a diet consisting mostly of plant foods and limiting red meat and avoiding processed food is the best defense. Preparing meals focused around vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans will help you fortify your body against cancer.

How Active We Are
Being physically active for at least 30 minutes each day. Participating in any number of physical activities can lower your risk for colon cancer and possibly several other cancers as well. To fit time in your schedule, try breaking activities into 10-15 minute sessions.

What We Weigh
It is the third key to help protect against as many as six different types of cancer. The good news is that once you start following the first two guidelines about diet and physical activity, you’ll find it easier to accomplish this one.

Jamaica Hospital joins the American Institute of Cancer Research to bring awareness to how we can reduce our chances of getting cancer by altering our daily lives.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.