In support of April as Cancer Control Month, Illinois CyberKnife is encouraging local residents to use a proactive approach to a healthy lifestyle.
Cancer Control Month highlights the progress in fighting cancer and increases awareness of who is at risk. The initiatives of Cancer Control Month seek to encourage healthy lifestyles, promote cancer screening, increase access to quality cancer care, and improve quality of life for cancer survivors. In 2012, the American Cancer Society predicted Illinois will have more than 65,000 potential new diagnoses.
Practicing early detection and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are the first steps to ensure that cancer is found and treated at the earliest stage, increasing the rate of survival. The American Cancer Society found that of cancer-related deaths, two-thirds could be avoided with proper diet and exercise and cutting out tobacco use.
“Cancer Control Month is a reminder that there are several steps you can take to lower the risk of cancer,” says Dr. Arica Hirsch, medical director of Illinois CyberKnife at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. “Being proactive about your health means not only regular exercise and practicing healthy eating habits, but also being aware of warning signs.”
The American Cancer Society suggests these guidelines for early detection of cancer:
- Learn more about your family members’ medical history
- Ask your doctor about self-exams and symptoms to watch for
- For women, yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40
- Men ages 50 and above should speak with their doctor to decide when to start screening for prostate cancer
- Both men and women should be tested for colorectal cancer every 5 to 10 years
- Protect and examine your skin regularly
“Following these guidelines can help to reduce the risk of cancer and may increase chances of detecting it early,” Dr. Hirsch said. “The earlier cancer is discovered, the more viable cancer treatment options, such as CyberKnife, may be for those who are candidates.”
CyberKnife treats cancerous and benign tumors in the brain, spine, lung, liver, pancreas, prostate and kidney with a procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery, a noninvasive method of treating tumors with high-dose radiation precisely aimed from different angles. The result is greatly increased accuracy that spares healthy tissue. Treatment is complete in one to five treatment sessions, and patients are allowed to go home immediately after each procedure to resume normal activities.
In partnership with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital, Radiation Oncology Consultants and US Radiosurgery/Alliance Oncology, Illinois CyberKnife is a department of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and is located at 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, Ill. 60068.