Em­brace the power of One New Thing

Cape Breton Post - - OP-ED -

Let’s turn talk into ac­tion. The 2015 Cana­dian Can­cer Sta­tis­tics were re­leased last month, and this year’s re­port has a spe­cial fo­cus on the fu­ture bur­den of can­cer and the im­por­tant role of risk re­duc­tion. We know all too well the bur­den can­cer places on in­di­vid­u­als and their fam­i­lies, the work­place and on our healthcare sys­tem.

With an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and grow­ing in­ci­dence of chronic dis­eases, the call for change needs not only to be heard, but acted upon. The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion sug­gests “preven­tion of­fers the most cost- ef­fec­tive, longterm strat­egy for con­trol­ling can­cer and other non- com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases.” We couldn’t agree more, and the Cana­dian Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion – At­lantic Re­gion is do­ing some­thing about it.

Our big­gest risk re­duc­tion pro­gram is al­ready on the road, lit­er­ally. The Pink Tour is work­ing its way across At­lantic Canada now and into the early fall, talk­ing to women face- to- face about ways they can re­duce their per­sonal risk of de­vel­op­ing breast can­cer. One- third of breast can­cers can ac­tu­ally be pre­vented, yet our re­search showed us this fact was not yet well known in our re­gion.

Whether it’s eat­ing bet­ter, ex­er­cis­ing more of­ten, re­duc­ing stress, lim­it­ing al­co­hol or elim­i­nat­ing smok­ing, At­lantic Cana­dian women are com­mit­ting to #OneNewThing on the Pink Tour (thep­ink­tour.ca). These small lifestyle changes can re­duce their risk of de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease.

In do­ing this, they’ll also re­duce their risk of other chronic dis­eases, and reap the ad­di­tional ben­e­fits of bet­ter health and well­ness.

The pro­jected sta­tis­tics for 2030 sug­gest breast can­cer will re­main one of the four most com­mon can­cers among women.

Reg­u­lar breast screen­ing helps us find and treat can­cer sooner, but lifestyle changes have the po­ten­tial to pre­vent the dis­ease.

There’s never been a bet­ter time for change.

So start­ing to­day, what’s your One New Thing? Jane Par­sons CEO Cana­dian Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion – At­lantic Re­gion

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