Quick facts and freebies from the American Cancer Society

In this column, Roberta Cahill of the American Cancer Society lists free resources available from ACS to help you stay well and reduce your cancer risk. Cahill is Yankton Sioux and lives in Pierre, S.D. Her work focuses on cancer education to diverse populations.

“These are wonderful free resources that can save your life. … everyone should know about them. Pass them along to your friends, your family, your co-workers. Taking control of your health starts with knowledge,” Cahill said.

Did you know the survival rate is 90 percent when colon cancer is found early? Get a free Colon Cancer Info Kit. It’s packed with the latest news on colon cancer – what it is, how to avoid it, the newest treatments. For details, call ACS at (800) 227-2345.

Did you know being overweight or obese has been linked to 14 percent of all cancer deaths? Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a diet high in fruits and veggies is crucial to reducing your risk of disease. Learn how to prevent cancer by eating right. Check out our new free cooking videos posted online – such as the “Healthy in a Hurry Parent’s Guide” – for parents who don’t have time to cook but still want to provide healthy meals; “Grilling Tips” or “Portion Control Guide.” Many more free online tools, tips and recipes at www.cancer.org/eatright.

Did you know every three minutes, a woman learns she has breast cancer? Get the facts – order a free Breast Cancer Info Kit from ACS. This kit gives you screening guidelines and prevention tips. Plus, you get mammogram reminder postcards you can mail to friends and family, and a write-on magnet that serves as an additional reminder to schedule a mammogram. Good information, great to pass on. Call (800) 227-2345.

Did you know ACS provides free lodging for cancer patients going through treatment? The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge saves lives by providing free, temporary lodging for cancer patients and their families who must travel long distances for cancer treatment. Hope Lodges are available in 28 states. Call (800) 227-2345 for details.

Did you know drinking alcohol is a risk factor for cancer? Research shows that men who have two alcoholic drinks a day and women who have one drink a day have an increased chance of developing certain cancers. The more alcohol you drink, the higher the risk. Alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver and breast. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits; and the combination of alcohol and tobacco increases the risk of cancer far more than the effect of either drinking or smoking. To find out more about cancer risk factors, visit www.cancer.org.

Do you have questions about cancer? The American Cancer Society is available 24 hours a day to answer questions. Just call (800) 227-2345 for free information, connections to local resources and support. Whatever is on your mind – questions on specific cancers, lodging, transportation, local support groups, finances – we’re here to talk. Give us a call.

For information about this article, contact Charlotte Hofer, American Cancer Society at