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Hofer: Take charge of your health

Did you know there are steps you can take – simple, lifestyle behaviors – that protect your health and are powerful in preventing cancer?

The American Cancer Society wants you to stay well. So, here are some basics that can help you lead a long, healthy life.

See your doctor. Tests from your doctor can find many cancers early. And the good news is, most cancers that are found early can be treated successfully.

Many cancers can be prevented by healthy habits – eating nutritious foods, getting exercise, limiting alcohol, and not smoking. Again, the good news is, with screenings and healthy habits, there’s a lot you can do to take control of your health.

What You Should Do to Find Cancer Early

Click here to find out from the American Cancer Society the screenings you need, and at what age.

Did you know? Native Americans have higher rates of death (as compared to other Americans) for some cancers. Things you do – such as smoking, drinking, being overweight, eating fatty or highly processed foods, and not getting exercise – can cause these cancers. For example, smoking can lead to lung cancer. Obesity is a risk for colon, prostate and breast cancer. Eating high-fat foods ups your chance of colon and prostate cancer. Lack of exercise increases risk for breast and colon cancer. Drinking alcohol makes you more susceptible to colon and breast cancer.

Many people do not know:

  • Some cancers can be prevented.
  • Finding cancer early can lead to successful treatment.

  • Cancer checkups and tests to find cancer early can savelives.

You have the power to turn these trends around. Many cancers and deaths from cancer can be prevented by what you know and what you do. The American Cancer Society can give you the facts you need to help prevent cancer.

Healthy choices you can make daily:

Below are the Nutrition & Physical Activity Guidelines for the Prevention of Cancer from the American Cancer Society:

  • Eat healthy foods, with an emphasis on plant sources. Eat five servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day. Choose whole-grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta. Limit consumption of processed and red meats.
  • Stay Active.

    Exercise 30 minutes five or more days a week
  • Limit alcohol.

    For men, that means two drinks a day; for women, one drink a day (a drink is 12 ounces of beer or five ounces of wine)
  • Don’t Smoke.

    Smoking kills over half the people who use it. Don’t be one of its victims. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit. We can help you.

To find out more about how to prevent cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or visit

About the American Cancer Society

At the American Cancer Society, our vision is a world with less cancer and more birthdays. As part of that vision, we are fighting cancer in every community, for every family, to help save lives. We recognize each community has different needs and we’re here to help everyone stay well and get well, to find cures, and to fight back against cancer. For cancer information, contact us at or (800) 227-2345.

Charlotte Hofer is public relations manager for the American Cancer Society in South Dakota. She is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, and her work for ACS focuses on cancer education through the media. Contact her at