Archived Story

COLUMN: Getting smart about cancer

Published 12:23pm Wednesday, April 3, 2013

With all of the encouragement and support the Hartselle area Relay for Life is getting these days you’d think tobacco users would think seriously about throwing their cigarettes and other tobacco products in a trash can and quit cold turkey.

There are many reasons why tobacco use is not worth the risk. Here are a few from the American Cancer Society.

Cigarette smoking is linked to at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths. Plus, it is linked to an increased risk of these cancers: lung, larynx, mouth, throat, stomach, pancreas, cervix, kidney, bladder, ovaries, breast, colorectal and leukemia.

Other deadly health problems associated with smoking include heart disease, aneurysms, bronchitis, emphysema and stroke.

About half of all Americans, or 443,000, who choose to continue smoking will die because of the habit each year. Smoking cigarettes kills more people that alcohol, automobile accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide and illegal drugs combined.

These problems can also steal away a person’s quality of life long before death. Smoking related illnesses limit a person’s life quality by making it harder to breathe, get around, work and play.

Hartselle and Morgan County’s record of support for American Cancer Society and its fight to find a cure for cancer is outstanding. This year’s Hartselle Relay for Life goal alone is over $100,000. More than 30 teams are working hard to raise enough money to meet that goal and their efforts will continue even after the all night relay event is completed later this month. Such compassion is to be applauded.

However, staying healthy is also a goal each person should seek to achieve. The American Cancer Society reminds us that more than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices like not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right and keeping active.


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