Thursday, October 8, 2009

Preventable, Treatable, Beatable

"Your health is in your hands!"

This is a sign that is displayed all over Memorial Hermann Hospital; and I like it. I like it because it's true. Like I've said before, we are not in control of our lives, God is, but we do have some responsibilities that He has given to us. One of those responsibilities is to take care of our physical bodies.

When I was in the hospital after my surgery the nurses told me that I needed to get out of bed and walk the hallways every two hours. I was not too excited about this because I knew I would experience pain, but I knew it was important for my recovery, so I did it. The nurses didn't necessarily come back every two hours to make me go walk, I made myself walk. My health was in my hands. The respiratory therapist brought me a breathing device called a spirometer and told me to use it every hour to prevent my lungs from collecting fluid after surgery. They didn't come do it with me, I watched the clock and exercised my lungs. My health was in my hands.

October is national Breast Cancer Awareness month. I don't have breast cancer but I know many women who have had it, who are battling breast cancer now, and who will have it at some point in their lives. I saw an interview of a young woman today who developed breast cancer at the age of 20. Two doctors told her not to worry about the changes in her breast. She just felt like something wasn't right so she kept pursuing the issue. She was finally diagnosed with the early stage of an aggressive type of breast cancer. She was treated and is thankfully doing well, but the point is, she took responsibility for her health and that's why she is alive today.

The American Cancer Society reports that half of all men will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime and one third of all women. You can be diagnosed at any age. Cancer isn't just for "old" people anymore. The incidence of many forms of cancer is increasing in young adults.

Only 5% of all cancers are hereditary, meaning that the rest can be prevented with lifestyle changes or early detection and treatment. Breast, Colon, Rectal, Oral, Skin, Cervical, Lung, Prostate, and Testicular cancer are all either preventable or very treatable when caught early. So, take charge! Your health is in your hands!

Eat well. Be active. Don't smoke. Get screened.

If you are a woman:

  • Do monthly self breast exams
  • Get an annual physical and pap smear
  • If you are over 40 get a mammogram
  • If you are over 50 get a colonoscopy
  • Use sunscreen daily
If you are a man:
  • Do monthly testicular exams
  • Get an annual physical
  • Remember men get breast cancer too
  • If you are over 50 get a colonoscopy
  • Use sunscreen daily
If you notice changes in your health, trust your instincts, see your doctor, keep pursuing the issue until it is resolved. You know your body best.

Your health is in your hands!


  1. So very true! I always also ask God to please make me aware or intervene for us in any disease or illness lurking in our body that we need to become aware of... cover all basis... cancer is so sneaky.........

  2. Such a good message and straight from the heart. We all know the things we should do and the foods that we should eat, but hearing it again, especially from you, should renew within us the resolve to take responsibility for our own health. I am so sorry that you are having to go on this journey, but we are learning about God, his mercy, grace, compassion, his promises, his forgiveness and lovingkindness, but most of all, his love for each and everyone of us through your blog and your life! May God shower you more and more with his blessings as he walks on this journey with you, Mark, your family and friends. Hugs, Jeanne

  3. All I can say is YOU GO GIRL !!! I totally believe the very same thing!

  4. I love this post! It's a great reminder.

    Love you!