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Today is World Cancer Day

Today, February 4, is World Cancer Day. As someone in the midst of the freaking wild ride known as cancer, this is a day to mark. I am celebrating the day by going in for my Oncology Orientation. Isn’t that beautifully ironic?

This year, the theme is ‘Cancer Can be Prevented Too’ and it is a position I heartily endorse. Most illness, including cancer, can be prevented if each of us takes three steps: don’t smoke, eat well, and walk 30 mins a day. That’s it.  Everything else is a flourish on the basic plan and I freely acknowledge that you can spend a lot of time discussing what ‘eat well’ means. For me, it means all foods are viable, but limit anything processed and try to stick with local, in season produce. (If the 1st ingredient is ‘enriched,’ its processed.) I will gladly sit down to a grass-fed steak dinner with salad and baked potato and butter. I’ll even have a glass or two of good red wine. But I don’t do that every night. In fact, most nights my meal is 2/3 vegetables.

Not smoking is a major factor. As an ex-addict I know exactly how hard it is to quit. Try. Try it again. Keep trying until you quit. You don’t want to end up like me, who could only stop when she needed cancer cut out of her body.

Walking every day is entirely possible. Get an iPod or (old school!) Walkman, and go for a walk. Get a friend or drag your partner up from the coach and go. Walk in the rain, the snow, and sun. Walk. I’ll eventually be allowed to do something more, but even then I will continue my regimen of waking every day.  If you are really super busy, walk 15 mins and do it twice a day.

Cancer is preventable.

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