It wasn’t until after Tammy Coleman’s grandfather died that she knew he had prostate cancer. And then a beloved cousin died before Tammy learned of her breast cancer diagnosis. And so it went.
“It’s like a hush-hush thing,” said Coleman, who as a breast cancer survivor—and Provision patient— has become heavily involved in local cancer awareness and fundraising efforts. “You don’t even know they have cancer. They just die one day.”
It is a lethal silence. Read More
While it doesn’t get lots of headlines, ribbons or cancer walks in its honor, colon cancer is a leading health threat for both men and women and the second top cause of cancer related death in the United States.
Nobody wants cancer, but in the U.S. one in every two men and one in every three women will get it at some point in their lives.
February is National Cancer Prevention month, and although there are no guarantees—we all know those who have developed the disease through circumstances beyond their control—science has shown us that many cancer cases are preventable through practical, healthy lifestyle choices.
The Harvard School of Public Health estimates up to 75 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. could be prevented, while the American Cancer Society declares about 60 percent of American cancer cases to be preventable. Read More
Aging is a fact of life. So let’s talk about how to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible, making the most of our years. “Age is just a number.” On our Tanita scale it gives us a health age. It is very encouraging when that’s younger than our chronological age. However, it doesn’t take our blood pressure or cholesterol or stress level or sleep habits or lifestyle into account. It does, in fact, consider your weight, your percent of body fat, and your waist circumference. Now is a wonderful time to consider how your lifestyle can help improve your chronological age and improve your future. Read More
Do you have muscle tightness or soreness? Do your muscles need to recover from the stress and strain that you put them through? Do you have a limited range of motion in some areas? These are some of the reasons we need to foam roll. Read More
Vice President Joe Biden’s recent commitment to lead a “moonshot” toward a cancer cure promises to deal a blow to the disease that has become the leading killer in the United States.
The initiative, kicked off last week, commits to bringing together a combination of therapies with “innovations in data and technology” to create treatment options that are ready for prime time—with the goal of making “a decade worth of advances in five years.”
Here at Provision, we couldn’t agree more. It’s something we work toward every day.
We believe the solution to a cancer cure is a combination of early detection along with both currently available and up-and-coming therapies that have the power to transform cancer treatment as we know it.
Here’s our view of a cancer-free future.
Ninety percent of cancer is treatable when detected early. If those at risk for a variety of cancers—particularly the big three: prostate, breast and lung—were screened appropriately, many of the cancer deaths we now mourn could be prevented.
For those who test positive for cancer, the healthcare system needs to, through research as well as financial support via insurance coverage, move toward treatments that kill the cancer but spare the patient and sustain quality of life.
Today, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy in various measures and combinations are the typical recipe for cancer care. All three of these remedies carry their own risks, from that of infection and complications in surgery to the collateral damage of radiation to the harsh toll chemotherapy takes on the entire body. Truly, the cure can be worse than the disease.
Here’s our vision of the future:
First, conventional radiation and most surgery should be replaced by proton therapy. Proton therapy is a proven, FDA-approved treatment option for those diagnosed with localized cancer such as found in the prostate, breast or brain. This non-invasive treatment reduces the side effects caused by conventional radiation therapy and surgery. A growing number of proton therapy centers are making this world-class option available to patients across the globe. We support their research in developing the best treatment plans and clinically demonstrating proton therapy’s effectiveness.
Second, immunotherapy offers the promise of a future without chemotherapy. By using the body’s own disease-fighting system to eradicate cancer, it eliminates the toxic, debilitating side effects now experienced by chemo patients and better prevents spread of the disease. Research should be dedicated to bringing this unique treatment to everyday application for cancers that now require chemotherapy.
And serious, strategic investment should be made in cancer prevention by encouraging healthy lifestyle choice and reducing environmental risks.
As Biden has said, for too long research has been stuck in silos, focused on narrow investigative tracks and lacking a clear, comprehensive, thoughtful vision that could actually move the needle on cancer mortality. Treatment is too often dictated by the financial interest of the health care industry rather than public and personal health priorities. Patients are too often relegated into the role of bystanders rather than active participants in their care.
We rejoice in the government’s fresh approach to this growing crisis. We are encouraged by the vice president’s willingness to seek the best answers to a problem that has touched his life and ours. We believe the answer is within reach—and we want to be a part of the solution. As Provision’s own ice-skating, cancer-surviving spokesman Scott Hamilton so eloquently puts it: “We want to help turn cancer upside down!”
Tennessee has made its mark on the nation’s cancer map, and it’s not a pretty picture.
The state is among a handful (all in the South) that rank higher, or lower, than the rest of the country when it comes to leading risk factors for the disease, according to a recent report of the American Cancer Society (data illustrated by National Public Radio.) An estimated 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year, according to ACS.
Tennessee leads the nation in rates of obesity and smoking, while trailing in measures that reduce the risk of cancer including exercise and eating healthy foods.
Here are how the statistics break down for the state:
• 24.3% are smokers
• 33.7% are obese
• 37.2% don’t exercise regularly
• 17.6% eat fruit twice daily
• 11.2% eat three vegetables daily
Compare this with Vermont, for example, in which 16.6 percent of the population smokes, 24.7 percent are obese, and just 20.5 percent don’t exercise or California where nearly one-quarter of the population eats the recommended services of vegetables and nearly 40 percent the recommended servings of fruit. (Truth is, there’s room for improvement across the country.)
In addition, many Americans fail to get recommended screenings for common cancer types. In Tennessee, just 56.5 percent of women over the age of 40 had a mammogram in the past year. And only 66.4 percent of both men and women had been tested for colorectal cancer. These screenings often result in early detection of cancer, which increases chances of survival.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to stay this way. Changing lifestyle habits such as adding daily exercise and smoking cessation increases your odds against cancer as well as other lifestyle-related diseases. Find out how to take first steps toward decreasing your cancer risk.