Reducing your risk of cancer

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POSTED: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 6:45pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 9:32am

February is National Cancer Prevention Month, and in the state of Texas alone, there are nearly 120,000 cancer cases expected just this year.

Due to the rise in expected diagnoses, doctors are stressing cancer prevention tips and encouraging patients to know their family history of cancer.

"There are some cancers that we do believe are linked genetically at this point in time," said Dr. Billy Marek with Texas Oncology.  "There are some that we want to be aware of and screen for either genetically or screen for at an earlier age with conventional screening techniques."

The deadliest type of cancer in Texas is lung cancer.  Nearly 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths are attributed to smoking, but tobacco use is also linked to other forms of cancer as well.

"Bladder tumors, kidney tumors, etcetera can be associated with smokers, so if we do have someone who is an avid or daily smoker, we try to get these folks to quit," explained Dr. Marek.

One of the easiest ways to prevent the risk of disease is simply exercising and eating healthy--an apple a day can actually help keep the doctor away.

"We need to educate people, particularly here in the Valley, that as many as a third to forty percent of all cancers can probably be prevented by eating a healthy diet and being active," Dr. Marek said. 

"If you can modify your diet, lifestyle, those kinds of things, you can modify your risk as well. You can't overcome you genetics per say but you can do other things that reduce your risk."

Doctors at Texas Oncology want to remind Valley residents to get regular screenings based on their age and gender to help reduce their risk of cancer.

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