Doctors recognize ‘World Cancer Day’ with tips to stay healthy

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Wednesday is World Cancer Day. A day focused on cancer awareness, prevention and treatment.

“You have cancer.” Three words that nobody wants to hear. But thanks to new research, medicine and technology, those three words are not a death sentence.

Each year, 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer. 8 million people will die. But that number is dropping thanks to new advances in medicine.

Doctor Sean Mullally is the Medical Director for the Cancer Program at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. “Quite a few of the lung cancers are still caused by smoking, as well as some of the head and neck cancers. The HPV vaccine is very important for our youth to receive to help prevent cancer when they get older,” said Dr. Mullally.

Dr. Mullally says it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat fruits and fiber, and limit your fat and alcohol intake.

Cancer can affect anyone, but there are things that we can do in our lives to lower our risk factors, like joining a gym, exercising and losing weight. Research shows that it can lower your risk of colon cancer by 50%.

“I like to eat healthy and that helps me to feel better and have more energy going to the gym and staying active on a day-to-day basis,” said Chris Osepowicz of Northampton.

Paul Barry’s mother is a breast cancer survivor. “It’s pretty scary. When you are younger you don’t know whats going to happen but she fought through it. She overcame the breast cancer and she’s still here today,” said Barry.

Experts recommend you visit your primary care physician on a regular basis and get routine screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies, including yearly CT scans if you are a smoker.

Dr. Mullally said over the years he’s seen more and more people be cured from cancer or go into long-term remission.

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