Houston-based center focuses on preventing cancer

- Living a healthier lifestyle is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions! Preventing cancer certainly fits into that category. Doctors believe up to seventy percent of cancers could be preventable. 

FOX 26 News visited the M.D. Anderson Cancer Prevention Center to learn about lifestyle changes that could help make you healthier.

Tens of thousands of patients head into the Texas Medical Center to be treated at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center every year, but M.D. Anderson also operates a facility that is all about preventing cancer. 

"The Cancer Prevention Center sees anyone who has concerns about cancer, whether at increased risk of cancer or if they don't know their risk of cancer, they could even be at average risk and just want to be screened," explains Dr. Therese Bevers, medical director of the facility. "You do not have to have a referral to the come to the Prevention Center, you can call and make an appointment."

Dr. Bevers says you can make simple lifestyle changes that are known to lower your cancer risks. 

"Don't smoke, but quit if you do, eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy body weight, exercise regularly," adds Dr. Bevers. "We recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week, along with two strengthening sessions to strengthen your muscles, and limit your sun exposure.  People like tanning beds, or getting tans from sun, but harmful to skin."

Dr. Bevers suggests everyone between the ages of 9 to 26 be up-to-date with the HPV vaccine to prevent everything from cervical to head and neck cancer," says Dr. Bevers. She also encourages patients to know their family history, so that they can find out if they are at increased risk and encourages patients to get recommended screenings. 

"We do breast cancer screening, cervical cancer, pap and HPV testing, colorectal, prostate cancer screening," says Dr. Bevers. "For a current or former smoker with 30 year pack history - we offer a lung cancer screening, and other high-risk screenings."

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