We must take care to avoid cancer risk

Alpena County sees about 450.7 new cancer cases per 100,000 people, according to a recent state report. Montmorency County sees 474.5 cases per 100,000 people.

The statewide rate is 435.2 new cancer cases per 100,000 people.

Cancer mortality rates in Alpena, Montmorency, and Alcona counties also came in higher than the statewide rate, News staff writer Crystal Nelson reported recently.

The higher rates in Alpena and Montmorency counties could be because people who live in rural areas tend to have more risk factors associated with cancer, such as obesity or smoking, according to Tom Rich, director of comprehensive cancer control at the American Cancer Society, Great Lakes Division. Rural residents also are less likely to have health insurance and less likely to get screenings when they are needed.

Cancer is a horrid disease, and we must do what we can to turn around those sad statistics.

Get out and exercise. Eat healthier foods.

Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, quit.

Do everything you can to make it to the doctor for regular check-ups and screenings.

Sometimes, cancer can be caused by things outside of our control. Environmental factors or genetics play a role in some cancers.

But we should do everything within our power to lessen our risk.



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