Salt Lake City, Utah (The Daily Dish) — February is Cancer Prevention Month, a time to focus on the best strategies. For not only treating cancer, but trying to prevent it in the first place. Medical Director for Optum, Dr. Christopher Valentine, joined Surae in the studio to dish on all things cancer prevention.
When cancer presents itself, there’s many challenges that patients are faced. Dr. Valentine said, “Well, really, a lot of what we try to focus on is just understanding ways we can prevent this kind of conversation in the first place. We really try to understand what their needs are, what kind of resources they have, and ensure that they’re connected with the right supports. Not only medically, but also socially in their lifestyle as well.”
One of the biggest challenges is that cancer isn’t just a single disease; there are many types of cancer. Different types of cancers grow and spread differently, so treatments are different from type to type. Making healthy choices can help reduce risk of catching certain types of cancer. It’s encouraged to receive regular, recommended health screenings to give you the best chance at a positive outcome if you do develop cancer.
Unfortunately, you can’t ever completely eliminate cancer risk. But in many cases, we can reduce our risk by making healthy choices! Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death, and smoking causes most cases. Smoking can also lead to cancer in other parts of the body, as well. The most common type of cancer in the U.S. is skin cancer. Applying sunscreen and wearing sun-protective clothing can help protect you against skin cancer. Cancers of the mouth, voice box, and throat have been studied for their link to alcohol consumption and breast cancer.
Preventing cancer is of course the ultimate goal, but catching cancer early through screenings can give you the best possible chance of a positive outcome if you do develop cancer. Getting screened means you check for cancer, before you have symptoms, based on your overall health, your age, your family history, or a variety of other factors.
Go to optum.com/utah to get more information about how to prevent cancer.