Make an OATH to yourself as a first step towards a healthier YOU! Take baby steps towards making simple changes in your lifestyle, which can make a big difference in cancer prevention and early detection.
Oath to Me: Chronicles of an Empowered Patient
Quarter past nine, my knees buckle and go weak,
I make my way to reception—hardly able to speak.
I’m here for a sono/mammo I meekly declare,
That time of the year—dreaded scan of the “glam” pair.
Taking my seat, I demurely peer around the crowded room,
All twice my age-mature garden surrounding a fresh bloom.
Twisted knots and belly flops—I try and maintain composure,
A few minutes until game time—and a bit of indecent exposure.
A tangled web of genetics won’t seal my fate,
Annual exams early on—surely a step towards my escape.
The wrath of cancer has taken its toll—across the family tree,
I take the bull by the horns won’t “just let it” happen to me.
Empowered with knowledge and action—I will fight back,
Carefully masterminding my mode of attack.
Rigorous screenings—prevention and early detection are key,
Measures of success in my healthy lifestyle decree.
Wine in moderation and a health diet I strictly maintain,
Enjoying life to the max—laughter, friends, and long walks in the rain.
Physical activity—I always find a way to work it in,
Mind over matter, I am truly destined to win.
My “glam pair” is now coated in a gelatinous sheath,
As a frigid probe, gingerly scopes what’s beneath.
Holding my breath, I’m then pressed against a cool metal plate,
As what little is there is scanned—holding my fate.
Quarter to 10, I shed the dowdy hospital gown,
A fashion faux pas—duds not suitable out on the town.
Piece of cake—I think to myself—as I book next year’s date,
Same time, Same place—I promise not to be late.
“Veni, vidi, vici”—immediately comes to mind,
That fear of the unknown—I’ve left it all behind.
Oath to me: I solemnly swear to do my part,
Never take health for granted and play life wicked smart!
Krug, S. “Oath to Me: Chronicles of an Empowered Journal.” Oncology Times 33.6 (2011): 39.
There are a few healthy choices that you can make to help reduce your risk of cancer.
- Maintain a healthy eating pattern that’s high in nutrients, and includes whole fruits, a variety of vegetables, and whole grains
- Limit or avoid red meat, processed meats, sugar-sweetened drinks, processed foods and refined grain products
- Avoid alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit consumption to no more than 1 drink/day for women and 2 drinks/day for men
- Get moving! Don’t be sedentary, and get 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75-100 minutes of vigorous intensity activity weekly
- Protect yourself from the sun and UV exposure
- Maintain your weight within a healthy range
- Refrain from smoking
- Protect yourself against HPV
- Get screened! Self-exams and screenings increase the chances of finding certain cancers early. Talk to your health care team about family history
We’ve curated additional cancer prevention resources to help you access important information regarding healthy lifestyle choices. Resources can be filtered by the medium you prefer, whether it’s a book, website, hotline, podcast, online community, mobile app, among others!