David Gill, M.D., and Patrick Zielie, M.D.
American Cancer Society recently released its 2012 Cancer Facts & Figures
showing that new cases of the most common forms of cancer, including lung,
colon and prostate, are decreasing across the United States. Cancer prevention
and treatment is better today than at any time in history, so it makes sense
that increased awareness of these common cancers, combined with early screening
and detection, is leading to a decreased number of cases.
is excellent news for the country as a whole, unfortunately we’re seeing a
different story in Texas. These same common cancers are on the rise in the Lone
Star state. While many factors likely contribute to this counter trend in
Texas, some of the key reasons that raise risk for these cancer types are
obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and smoking.
Oncology is issuing a challenge to every resident in the Greater Houston area
and across Texas to take charge of your health and help combat lung, colon, and
prostate cancers in our community. Making lifestyle choices that help prevent
cancer, and getting regular screenings to detect cancer at its earliest stages,
are the most important first steps to take.
Smoking, Watch for Early Signs of Lung Cancer
cancer continues to be responsible for the most cancer-related deaths in Texas.
In 2012, the American Cancer Society estimates that 9,780 Texans will die from
lung cancer – which is 220 more than last year. In addition, the number of
Texans diagnosed with lung cancer is expected to rise by 6 percent in 2012.
According to the American Lung Association, tobacco smoke is by far the most
important risk factor for developing lung cancer, so if you’re a Texan who
smokes, quit today. Quitting smoking also reduces your risk for numerous other
cancers as well as heart and lung disease. Resources are available to help you
at websites like SmokeFree.gov.
Risk of Colon Cancer through Better Diet, Exercise
hundred and 40 more people in Texas are expected to be diagnosed with colon
cancer this year than in 2011. A high-fat diet, obesity and family history of
the disease raise the likelihood of developing colon cancer, which is among the
most difficult to detect because it lacks symptoms in early stages. However,
there are five types of colon cancer screenings available, including a
colonoscopy and fecal occult blood test. Texans should begin to take advantage
of these important screening measures beginning at age 50, and then every 5-10
years after that, depending upon the chosen test.
Screened for Prostate Cancer
2004, prostate cancer incidence rates in the United States have decreased by
2.7 percent per year among men at least 65 years old and have remained stable
among men younger than 65. However, in Texas the number of prostate cancer
cases is expected to rise again in 2012.
survival rate for prostate cancer is much higher when detected early, so
regular prostate cancer screenings for men after age 50 is highly encouraged.
Consult your physician to determine an individualized schedule for prostate
screenings – some men with risk factors may need to begin testing earlier.
Prostate screenings should include the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood
test and a digital rectal exam (DRE).
information about lung, colon and prostate cancer prevention, visit www.TexasOncology.com.
Editor’s note: Dr. David Gill is a medical oncologist at
Texas Oncology-Deke Slayton Cancer Center, 501 Medical Center in Webster. Dr.
Patrick Zielie is a urologist at Texas Urology Specialists-Tomball, 506 Graham
Drive, Suite 150 in Tomball, and Texas Urology Specialists-The Woodlands, 17198
St Luke’s Way, Suite 410 in The Woodlands. Texas Oncology has practices
throughout the Greater Houston area, including specialists in medical oncology,
radiation oncology, gynecologic oncology, urology, and breast care.