Wear a Daffodil, Live Well, Help Make Cancer History

In an interview on the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days, someone said “The daffodil is a poignant symbol for cancer survivors.  As one of spring’s first flowers, it brings hope and renewal after the long winter and the bulbs continue to bloom again and again.”

This quote struck a chord for me and changed the way I see that yellow harbinger of spring.  Now I am reminded of my aunties who lost their struggle with cancer many years ago. So much progress has been made over the past generation and I can’t help but think that they might have survived if we had back then what we have today.

According to a study published in The Lancet, Canada’s survival rates are improving for breast, ovarian, lung and colorectal cancer.  But as Barbara Kaminsky, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, BC & Yukon writes in her blog, “this is great news and demonstrates some of the progress we’ve made. But we shouldn’t stop here. This same study also highlights that primary prevention to reduce incidence remains the best long-term strategy to reduce cancer burden.”

This focus on prevention is the reason the Canadian Cancer Society, BC & Yukon is one of the founding members of the BC Alliance for Healthy Living.  Fifty percent of cancers can be prevented through healthy living, health promoting environments and public policy that improves health outcomes for all.

Below are some of the steps that the Canadian Cancer Society advises you to take to prevent the risk of cancer (by the way these can also help prevent the risk of other chronic diseases as well).

You can:

  • Be a non-smoker and avoid tobacco smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Be physically active every day.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Limit alcohol use.
  • Reduce your exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun or indoor tanning equipment, like tanning beds.
  • Know your body and report any changes to your doctor or dentist.
  • Follow health and safety instructions when using hazardous materials at home and at work.

Rita Koutsodimos
Manager, Advocacy & Communications
April 7, 2011


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