February is National Cancer Prevention Month

Social commerce is a part of the greater e-commerce market, which has seen a significant uplift in the past few years. In 2020, amid the COVID lockdown, social commerce got a big boom while people were confined to their homes. The volume of buyers on social media platforms has increased from 18 million buyers in 2018 to 80 million buyers in 2020. However,  after mid-2021, the count decreased to 56 million buyers due to lockdown relaxations and the opening of malls and shopping centers. In 2022, experts estimate 70 million buyers through social commerce owing to the introduction of in-app shopping features.

A new development in social commerce is the collaboration between product manufacturers and social media influencers. Influencers generally have a loyal fan following and can manipulate the likes and dislikes of their followers. Manufacturers targeting social customers collaborate with popular influencers to advertise their products.

The NCI is a federal agency that is part of the National Institutes of Health, established and signed into law by  President Franklin D Roosevelt as the National Cancer Institute Act of 1937.  Part of their mission “is to lead, conduct, and support cancer research across the nation to advance scientific knowledge and help all people live longer, healthier lives” as they focus on cancer research, and training and support for researchers.  Several Divisions and Centers are part of the NCI Research Programs, one of which is the Division of Cancer Prevention that leads in research “to determine a person’s risk of developing cancer and to find ways to reduce that risk.” In November 2022, they announced the establishing of a Cancer Screening Research Network (CSRN) for conducting trials and studies specifically for cancer screening, along with a few funding opportunities.

Funded research studies tend to focus on improving cancer treatments, proper identification of cancer type, the development of new medications to treat and try to target the cancer in such a way to keep it from spreading, and the need for clinical trials.  Rarely do we see cancer cure breakthroughs and when we do, they are often short-lived. This means that more efforts must be placed on what can be done regarding prevention and reducing risk.

According to the ACS, “There’s no sure way to prevent cancer, but you can help reduce your risk by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active, and not smoking.”  They emphasize the importance of following medically recommended screening guidelines which can help with early detection of certain types of cancers. In some cases, a second and even a third opinion for diagnosis will help to give peace of mind and help to make a better decision for treatment choice.

“Make Healthy a Habit” and let it be the first dose or doses of medicine where possible.  Avoid whatever is going on in life that is known to be harmful while practicing the principles of healthy living and be sure to follow the instructions of your trusted team of medical physicians and professionals.  A healthy diet and not smoking are general recommendations for cancer prevention, and we do well to keep in mind the other components of a healthy lifestyle, including:

  • A whole foods plant-based diet that includes fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and grains
  • An active lifestyle consisting of regular physical activity and/or exercise
  • Hydrate your body with plenty of water – half the body weight most recommended
  • Get a daily dose of sunshine early or later in the day, careful not to get too much by staying too long in the sun when it then becomes dangerous and harmful in the heat of the day
  • Practice self-control in all things – eating, activity, working, etc.
  • Breathe in the open air – spend some time outdoors if only for a few minutes
  • Get proper rest – essential for good health of brain and body
  • Trust in God, the Creator of all things, the One who holds all power and healing in His Hand

God created the human body to function in a way that is orderly and when that order is altered, the body is weakened and often manifests by some form of illness.  The good news is that by the Lord’s mercy, many illnesses can heal when the human body is supported on a healing journey.  Even with a diagnosis of cancer there are many who have survived and are now in or have been in remission. For example, the overall five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer is 99% for localized disease, 86% for regional disease, and 30% for distant-stage disease, which are significant increases since 1975. This is no doubt a testament to the mercy and power of God.

By Rochelle Capers

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