By Vicki Browne, RN, BSN, OCN
As the saying goes, “Early detection is the best prevention.” Therefore, on the heels of National Cancer Prevention Month, we want to stress the importance of regular screenings and general wellbeing as a crucial component of cancer prevention.
Although NYPC is laser-focused on treating cancer, we know the value of finding cancer early through routine screenings and regular dialogue with your healthcare providers. Screenings can find many cancers when they are still localized and easier to treat with fewer side effects and potentially better outcomes.
Nurses along with other healthcare professionals strongly recommend maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, wearing sunscreen, avoiding smoking, getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and receiving all screenings recommended for your age. These may include a mammogram for women, colonoscopy, skin cancer exam, eye exam, dental checkup, and prostate screening for men. Current or former smokers may also benefit from low-dose CT scans to screen for lung cancer.
Most importantly, we recommend building a strong, trusting relationship with your primary care physician who will be your advocate if and when you need to receive care.
In January, the American Cancer Society issued their annual Cancer Statistics 2023 report, which provided the latest statistical updates around cancer diagnoses and prognoses. They estimated that nearly 2 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year. Their projected number of deaths for the year represents an impressive 33 percent drop in the cancer mortality rate since 1991, with 3.8 million deaths averted in total.
These statistics demonstrate that over the last 32 years, regular screenings and preventative care played an important role in avoiding unnecessary cancer deaths and helping patients receive the treatment they need in a timely manner.
Cancer prevention begins with you, but the dedicated team at NYPC will be by your side if needed for every step of your treatment journey.
Vicki Browne, RN, BSN, OCN is the New York Proton Center’s Nurse Manager. To learn more about the NYPC care team and how we offer holistic patient support during your proton therapy treatment, contact us and we’ll connect you with a member of our team.