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Awareness can be the key to survival

With cancer awareness in mind, Levi Retires, along with many members of the community, host a number of annual events and donate items toward the effort to offer continued support and encouragement to local survivors as well as those associated with the Johnson County Cancer Support Group led by Flo Bellamy. Submitted photos

By Meg Dickens
FREELANCE WRITER

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), cancer is made up of more than 100 diseases characterized by uncontrolled and abnormal growth throughout the body. The American
Cancer Society (ACS) estimates there
have been 14,840 deaths from different types of cancer in Tennessee in 2019. Female breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung and bronchus cancer have the highest death rates.
There have been 37,350 new cancer diagnoses in Tennessee this year alone. ACS statistics show that 1 in 3 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer sometime in their lifetime. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. The prevalence of cancer is why awareness is such an important issue.
Awareness can be the key to survival. Stories such as local businesswoman Nancie Svensen’s show that. Svensen went for a mammogram in memory of a close friend who lost their fight to cancer. The Johnson County Community Hospital diagnosed Svensen with breast cancer in its early stages. Later bilateral lumpectomies showed two distinct types of breast cancer. Early detection works wonders. Svensen is now a happy and healthy individual.
“We’re grateful for our beautiful town and the wonderful people in it,” said Svensen. “We’re grateful for the outstanding medical team and the outcome.”
There are a lot of factors in developing cancer. Certain habits and actions are risk factors. High body mass index (BMI), lower fruit and vegetable intakes, a lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use are risk factors for developing cancer, according to the WHO. Hepatitis and HPV cause 25 percent of cancer cases in low and middle-class countries as well.
Fundraising is an excellent way to raise awareness while supporting cancer research. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is an event organized by the ACS to raise money for breast cancer research, treatment help, and treatment transportation. There are walks scheduled in Charlotte, Kingsport, Raleigh, and Greensboro within the next week or so. Details on these events can be found at acsevents.org. There will also be a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis within the same timeframe.
Statistically, most people know someone suffering from cancer. There is not a definitive medical cure, but showing support and offering a helping hand can do wonders. Remember to get the recommended tests for your age group. After all, the first step
to prevention and an eventual cure is
awareness.