National Cancer Prevention Month

Did you guys know that February is National Cancer Prevention Month? If you didn’t know, you’re not alone because I didn’t know either until Sarah from Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center (MAAC) informed me!

We all know about wearing pink for breast cancer awareness and Mustache Movember to raise men’s health awareness, but I didn’t know there was a month actually dedicated to cancer prevention. Most of us have been touched by cancer whether it’s personally or has effected someone we know. I’m no exception with multiple family members and friends who have had or have cancer. As a person who is at risk of one day developing cancer, prevention is something that is very important and dear to me.

Sarah was kind enough to share with me a checklist from MAAC to help prevent cancer.

Cancer Prevention Month Checklist

The items on this checklist are all things we can do to help prevent mesothelioma and cancer in general. Some of these may seem like common knowledge, but are probably oftentimes overlooked and forgotten about such as wearing sunscreen, exercising, and eating a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables.

All of the items on this checklist are totally doable and February being National Cancer Prevention Month is a good time to be more mindful of these things. Why not take the stairs instead of the elevator? Grab the apple instead of the chips for a snack.

Seeing as how MAAC aims to raise awareness for Mesothelioma, I wanted to highlight a few things about this particular type of cancer. I’d heard of mesothelioma and have seen many commercials about it, usually the ones from law firms advertising to people who have developed the illness, and never really paid attention. So I didn’t really know what type of cancer mesothelioma was until I looked into it on the website and found out that it’s a “deadly cancer caused primarily by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, attacks the mesothelium, a protective, two-layered membrane that covers the internal organs of the body including the lungs, heart, and abdominal organs.”  What’s more is that it can take anywhere between 20 to 50 years to develop!

A known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos, which is why it is on the checklist. Now again, if you’re like me, you probably associate asbestos with old buildings and homes, thinking it’s not something we really have to worry about in 2016. Well, like me, you’d be wrong. Shockingly enough, it is still legal to use asbestos in the United States! I couldn’t believe it when I heard that. Crazy, isn’t it?

I hope you’ll consider the items on this checklist and spread the word!

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