Cancer; it's one of the leading causes of death in the world. There are so many types of cancer, yet most people do not know what cancer is and how it can affect your health. 

What is Cancer? It is the spread of abnormal uncontrolled cell growth in the body. In a healthy body, cells grow, die and are replaced with new cells, whereas a body with cancer has cells that continue to grow and multiply into tumors. In the United States 1 in every 4 people die from cancer related deaths, with lung cancer leading the way and causing 440.000 deaths per year [via stand up to cancer]. 

Different types of cancer (including brain, basal and thyroid cancer)

Different types of cancer (including brain, basal and thyroid cancer)

It is very important to get checked out if you feel any pain, lumps, or see any unusual patchy discoloration on your body. That could be the early symptoms of overgrown cells, but the only way to be certain is to seek the medical advice of a doctor. There are 4 different stages of cancer, with the fourth stage being the worst, and often leading to death.  

Cancer can happen to anyone, and there are many factors that  distinguish the types of cancer that one can develop. There are also ways to prevent cancer from forming, and growing in your body. All it takes is educating yourself on ways to combat cancer and making a few lifestyle changes.

  • Get Moving - Being a couch potato causes inactive lifestyles and obesity which accounts for 20-30% of colon, breast, kidney, and esophageal cancer. Stay in shape by jogging frequently, going to the gym, and keeping it moving!
  • Use Sunscreen - The #1 cancer in men and women from ages 25-30 is skin cancer caused by prolonged sun exposure. Protect your head with hats and your skin with an SPF of 15 or more. And don’t even think about hitting up that tanning salon. The UVA radiation from tanning beds is three times as harmful as the sun. You may love the way you look now, but the sun damage will be evident in your mature years.
  • Touch Yourself - Don't take this the wrong way. The only way to know and monitor your body is to check for any physical changes. Doing monthly self-exams of the breasts/chests, testicles, and skin for any unusual bumps is the best way for early detection of any cancer related issues. Doctors believe that catching cancer early on could save thousands of lives each year. 
  • Quit Smoking - We've heard it countless times, yet people feel as though it can never happen to them. Lung cancer from cigarette smoking causes more than 440,000 deaths annually in the US (including deaths from secondhand smoke). It is hard to quit smoking, however every cigarette causes tar buildup, ages skin, makes you smell horrible, and causes lung cancer. Try minimizing your daily intake, and try nicotine patches to jumpstart your desire to quit. 
  • Eat Your Veggies - Vegetables contain nutrients and antioxidants that help to build a strong immune system, remove toxins from your body, and prevent cancer cells from forming. If you do not like to eat your greens, then hop on the smoothie bandwagon and add them to your fruits and shakes for a delicious drink.
  • Know Your History - Many cancers can be hereditary, so it's best to know your family history so you can be ahead of the game. Talk to your doctor and family about any prior history of cancer so you can live a healthy future. Knowledge is power and understanding your risks with any diseases is important to living a long life. Catch up on blogs and newsletters to learn more about cancer, and contact organizations and charities for more information.When you know your family history, you can plan ahead.  
  • Get Involved - Spread the word on cancer and ways to prevent it, donate to cancer research to continue the fight to cure cancer, and volunteer/join cancer walks such as Avon, Susan G Komen, and many others to raise money to find a cure. Also, share this post to educate someone else on this deadly disease. 

    Stay aware, stay smart, and stay healthy.