Columns for The Lufkin News

Your Role in Cancer Prevention

Posted Sep 03, 2013 by Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Cancer. Got your attention now? I live and breathe cancer. It's my job. Who knows, I may die with cancer. But my odds are improved because of some choices that I make. First of all, I do not smoke. Ninety eight percent of the patients I see with lung cancer either smoke or have smoked, and lung cancer remains the most preventable cause of cancer death. I try not to get too much sun exposure. That's not easy living in Texas (and driving a convertible). I also exercise regularly and strive to maintain a healthy weight. Finally, once I turned 50, I had my first screening colonoscopy in case there were any polyps that needed to be removed. Removal of polyps can prevent colorectal cancer. My wife, for her part, has regular mammograms (to detect breast cancer early when it is highly curable) and Pap smears (again, to detect changes that could lead to cervical cancer).

Of course, that does not guarantee that I won't get cancer. But the good news is that we cure two-thirds of cancers today. That's right... cure. Most people mistakenly think of cancer as a death sentence. Of course, if you get lung cancer, your chance of cure may only be about 15%. Terrible. Especially since it is almost always preventable. But if you detect breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer early - some of our most common cancers - cure rates run 80-90% or greater. Fantastic!

What are you doing to improve your cancer risk? Do you smoke? Quit! Are you overweight and inactive? Diet and exercise! Are you getting your mammograms, Pap smears, screening colonoscopies, checking your skin for irregular or changing moles? Take charge of the risks that you can.

It is not enough to cure cancer or just diagnose cancer earlier. We want to prevent cancer altogether. What can YOU do to help us win this fight?

Participate in CPS3 - Cancer Prevention Study 3! The American Cancer Society has undertaken a huge, nationwide, multiyear study to better understand the lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer. If you are between the ages of 30 and 65 years old and have never been diagnosed with cancer, you are eligible to enroll.

Participating is easy and involves the following:

1. Read and sign an informed consent form.

2. Complete a survey packet which will ask for detailed information on lifestyle, behavioral, and other factors related to your health.

3. Be measured for waist circumference.

4. Give a small blood sample (similar to a doctor’s visit). The blood sample is drawn by a trained, certified phlebotomist.

5. Completing a mailed survey every few years over the next 20-30 years

All personal information and any individual results of blood analyses that may be performed will be kept strictly confidential by CPS-3 research staff. There will be no cost to you to participate.

Enrollment will be available at the following locations, your choice:

Tuesday, October 15th (7:30am–11:00am) - Memorial Health System of East Texas, Lufkin

Tuesday, October 15th (4:00pm–7:30pm) - C. L. Simon Recreational Center, Nacogdoches

Thursday, October 17th (1:30pm–5:00pm) - After Power of Pink! at LufkinConvention Center

Saturday, October 19th (9:00am–12:30pm) - Lufkin Industries

Sunday, October 20th (9:30am–1:00pm) - Lufkin First Assembly of God Church

We need 500 people locally to enroll, and we need ALL racial and ethnic groups to participate. To sign up, go to cancerstudytx.org or call toll-free 1.888.604.5888. Do it for your friends or loved ones who have had cancer. With your help, we can finish this fight!

Your First Visit

What to expect on your first consultation

Get Started >

Centers

Learn about the Temple Cancer Center at CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial

See Our Center >

Radiation Therapy

Find answers to common questions about radiation therapy

View the FAQ >

Meet Our Team

Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Radiation Oncologist

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

Radiation Oncology Nurse

Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

Lead Radiation Therapist

Aimee Salas, RT (T)

Aimee Salas, RT (T)

Radiation Therapist

Josh Yarbrough, RT (R)(CT)(T)

Josh Yarbrough, RT (R)(CT)(T)

Radiation Therapist

Julie McClain, RT (R)(T)

Julie McClain, RT (R)(T)

Dosimetrist

Linda Miller, MS

Linda Miller, MS

Medical Radiation Physicist

Evelyn Leach

Evelyn Leach

Receptionist