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Cancer Prevention Month: By the Numbers


Did you know approximately half of all men and one third of all women will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime? However, of the most common cancer types in the United States, one third can be prevented by making changes to your lifestyle.

“There are 11 cancers that have been associated with body weight.”

Says Beth Beckett, oncology dietitian at the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center. “I think weight is something that is often overlooked as a cancer risk, and we want to raise awareness about this issue.”

Those cancers include oral, esophageal, liver, stomach, pancreatic, gallbladder, colorectal and kidney cancers in both men and women, as well as advanced prostate cancer in men and breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers in women.

Though some cancer cases are hereditary or genetic, which are out of our control, living a healthy lifestyle is something you can control, and it could greatly reduce your risk. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) about 6 of every 10 women, and 7 of every 10 men are overweight or obese. Staying a healthy weight could prevent an estimated 132,850 cancer cases per year, according to the AICR.

“We want patients to be aware of the programs we offer to help them reduce their weight and be healthier,” says Mary Beth Peiffer, oncology dietitian at the Community Cancer Center. “Beth and I are certified in oncology and have backgrounds in counseling for weight management.”

“We also have an exercise program to help you achieve your goals,” says Matt Schmitz, cancer exercise specialist at the Community Cancer Center. “We offer a variety of group classes or you can schedule an individual appointment with me.”

For patients who are experiencing distress or going through a tough situation that has become a barrier to a healthy lifestyle, our oncology social workers, Brittany Grieg and Nancy Yeisley, are available to help as well.

All our programs are open to any cancer patient, survivor or caregiver, for little or no cost. To learn more, call the Community Cancer Center at (319) 558-4876 or visit our What We Do page.


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