October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Liver Cancer Awareness Month. There are many ways you can show support for those affected by these cancers as well as promote prevention without even leaving your home. Learn more about prevention and advocacy efforts you can take part in this month!
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month aims to educate and increase awareness of breast cancer prevention, screening, and treatment [i]. How can you decrease risk factors through lifestyle change?
- Know the risk factors! Risk factors for breast cancer can include gender, age, and genetics. Learn more about breast cancer risk factors here from the CDC [ii].
- Stay active and eat balanced meals to maintain a healthy weight [iii]. Consider trying an activity such as yoga, strength and cardio or Tai Chi, which can be done at home or outdoors!
- Limit or avoid consuming alcohol [iii]. Consider replacing alcohol with infused water using fall flavors such as apples, cranberries or ginger when possible.
- Follow the appropriate screening recommendations for your age or risk factor group. Learn more about breast cancer screening guidelines here from the American Cancer Society [iv].
Liver Cancer Awareness Month
The liver is an important organ in the body responsible for the production of bile for fat digestion. It also helps to filter toxins from the blood [v]. Take some time this month to educate yourself on liver cancer prevention and advocacy efforts.
- Prevent the chance of a hepatitis infection by avoiding sharing unsterilized needles and unprotected sex [vi].
- Avoid alcohol or consume alcohol in moderation, which may help to prevent the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer [vii]. The CDC currently recommends up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men to reduce the risk of alcohol-related adverse health outcomes [viii].
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight to help decrease the risk of fatty liver disease, which can be linked to liver cancer [vii]. Aim to include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet, while limiting processed foods.
[i] Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from: https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month
[ii] What are the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/risk_factors.htm
[iii] Breast Cancer Awareness. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/breastcancerawareness/index.htm
[iv] American Cancer Society Guidelines for Early Detection of Cancer. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/find-cancer-early/cancer-screening-guidelines/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer.html
[v] Liver Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from: https://www.aacr.org/patients-caregivers/awareness-months/liver-cancer-awareness-month/#:~:text=October%20is%20Liver%20Cancer%20Awareness%20Month.
[vi] Liver Cancer Prevention and Risk Factors. Retrieved from: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/types/liver/risk-factors-prevention
[vii] Can Liver Cancer be Prevented? Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/liver-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html
[viii] Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/moderate-drinking.htm#:~:text=To%20reduce%20the%20risk%20of,adults%20of%20legal%20drinking%20age.