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Five Ways to Give Dad the Greatest Father's Day Gift: Life

Strong. Protective. Heroic. He’s your dad and you want to do something for him this Father’s Day that will honor all the things he has done for you. Even if he’s tough as nails on the outside, Dad isn’t as invincible as he seems. This June 17, give him the gift of good health.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second leading cause of death for people over 45 in American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Limited access to health care is one cause of high death rates. Neglected health is another.

“A lot of men are resistant to any kind of exams or testing or even going to the clinic to get a checkup,” says Dana Dupris, a cultural preservation specialist for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Cultural Preservation Program in South Dakota. “If it’s cancer and they wait until the very end, it’ll be the final stages of their disease and then they submit to the end of their lifetime.”

Here are 5 ways to help your dad dodge cancer and stay healthy this Father’s Day:

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1. Make healthy eating choices. Be sure to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Choose lean means and whole grains, and go easy on the sweet treats!

2. Stay active. All it takes is thirty minutes of activity five times each week . . . but that might take some encouragement! Suggest a walk, a game of one-on-one, or finishing outdoor projects.

3. Quit smoking.Smoking dramatically increases your risk for lung cancer. Help dad kick the habit today and add years to his life!

4. Protect your skin. Use sunscreen and stay out of the blazing rays between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. That means you can sit under the umbrella while you barbecue today!

5. Find out the screenings you need. Waiting for symptoms might mean it’s too late! Visit the American Cancer Society web site at for information about prevention and cancer screenings your dad needs.