We may wonder what we can do to reduce our risk of cancer. There has been an increase in the USA in respiratory, breast, colon, pancreatic and bladder cancers. The following is taken from the American Cancer Society’s brochure “Taking Control.” Please keep in mind that in addition to these dietary and lifestyle suggestions, we also need to nurture our spiritual and emotional selves. Take time to pray, to strengthen your relationship with God and to know yourself and your needs better. Truly care for your body, mind and spirit, the Temple of God.

Activities to protect you from cancer:
* Eat more cabbage-family vegetables
* Add more high-fiber foods to your diet
* Choose foods with Vitamin A
* Choose foods with Vitamin C
* Control your weight 

Activities to reduce your cancer risk:
* Trim fat from your diet
* Avoid salt-cured, smoked and nitrite-cured foods
* Stop smoking
* If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation
* Respect the sun’s rays

In general, we can help protect ourselves from cancer by eating a healthy diet. The cabbage-family vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbages, and kale) seem to protect against stomach, colorectal, and respiratory cancers. High fiber foods (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) may protect against colon cancer. Foods rich in Vitamin C (grapefruit, cantaloupe, oranges, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes) help protect against cancer of the esophagus and stomach. Maintaining a normal body weight can provide some protection from cancer of the uterus, gall bladder, breast, and colon.

Several things help reduce the risk of cancer in general. We can reduce our risk of breast, colon, prostate, esophagus, and stomach cancer by eating a diet that avoids fatty and cured meats. Smoking remains the biggest risk factor. Smokers who quit will definitely reduce their cancer risk.

Heavy alcohol use has been associated with cancer of the liver and many other serious health risks. Too much time in the sun (especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) causes skin cancer. Melanoma has become a serious cancer risk. Protect your skin! Use sunscreen with a factor of at least 15 any time your skin is exposed.

Remember the Seven Warning Signs of Cancer and see your doctor if you notice any of them:

* Change in bowel or bladder habits
* A sore that does not heal
* Unusual bleeding or discharge
* Thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere
* Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
* Obvious change in wart or mole
(ABCD check: Asymmetrical, uneven Borders, Color irregularity or change,
change in the Diameter or size)
* Nagging cough or hoarseness

(from “Seasons for Wholeness” by Ruth Daumer)