This Father's Day, I want to remind everyone to give dad the gift of life by encouraging him to talk to his doctor about cancer risk reduction and appropriate cancer screenings.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, and is largely preventable by not smoking. Colon cancer is preventable, too, if you get screened with a colonoscopy, where a polyp is snipped out and does not grow into cancer.
Dad should talk to the doctor about prevention and detection methods for cancers of the thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, oral cavity and skin. He should also get health counseling about tobacco, sun exposure, diet and nutrition, risk factors, sexual practices, and environmental and occupational exposures.
One third of all cancers are related to tobacco use. One third of cancers are related to diet, nutrition, and exercise. That means two thirds of cancers are related to lifestyle behaviors.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. The American Cancer Society estimates that about one in every seven California men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime. Making an informed decision about screening for prostate cancer, including understanding the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits associated with screening is an important part of treating this disease.
So celebrate dad on June 17th and let him know you want him around to celebrate more Father’s Days and more birthdays for years to come.
Chair, American Cancer Society, Desert Palms Leadership Council
73-161 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert, CA