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Health and the City is a monthly column that examines relevant community health issues, spotlights the local organizations whose work impacts the wellness of our community, and highlights fun, useful, and important health, nutrition, and active living opportunities. Health and the City appears the fourth Saturday of every month in the Neighborhood Extra and is brought to you by Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln. Find us at HealthyLincoln.org. Send questions or health, wellness, or fitness event information or stories to jpearsonanderson@healthylincoln.org

THE LATEST – HAVE YOU HEARD?

• A study at Harvard Medical School finds that a bad diet in the teen years could raise breast cancer risk. Women who ate the most inflammatory diet heavy in red meat, sodas, sweet foods and white flour were up to 1/3 more likely to develop breast cancer in their 20s, 30s or 40s compared to women with diets rich in fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

• A new study at LSU Health New Orleans found a link between sugary drinks and increased risk of pancreatic and endometrial cancer, and the recurrence of colon cancer among cancer survivors.

• AND THE GOOD NEWS: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the HPV vaccine for kids that can prevent several cancers is effective in a new 2 shot regimen.

SPOTLIGHT ON CANCER PREVENTION

Most of us know about mammograms and colonoscopies, the life-saving tests that can help detect cancer in its earlier, more treatable forms.

But cancer prevention? Can you actually prevent cancer? There’s a two-part answer to that. One is about lowering the risk, the other about actually preventing several cancers through vaccination.

Lowering the Risk

Medical professionals and lots of research provide some realistic tips for lowering your cancer risk:

1. Maintain a healthy weight, limit sugary drinks. Obesity is linked with an increased risk of several cancers and sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks are some of the main culprits behind the obesity epidemic.

2. Exercise. Consistent exercise of almost any amount may substantially lower your risk of at least 13 types of cancer.

3. Eat healthy. A diet emphasizing fruits, fish, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, and less red meat and dairy is linked to reduced rates of many diseases, including cancer.

4. Don’t smoke. Does anyone NOT know that smoking causes cancer?

5. Wear sunscreen. Sunshine is an important source of vitamin D, but more than 20 minutes a day without sunscreen can age and damage your skin with prolonged exposure greatly increasing your risk of skin cancer.

More at: www.cancer.org, click “Stay Healthy”

Preventing Cancer

Did you know that one of the recommended vaccines for kids can prevent cervical and throat cancers?

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine is recommended for all adolescents, both boys and girls, and the best time to start the vaccine is around age 11 or 12. Only about 50% of kids get the vaccine. By increasing vaccination rates to over 80%, most of the 30,000 cases of cancer caused by HPV could be prevented.

If kids receive the HPV vaccine at the 7th grade physical they require only 2 vaccinations instead 3. Studies show the vaccine is much more effective if started at age 11 or 12 compared to waiting until later. It’s easy to schedule the HPV vaccination during the 7th grade physicals along with their flu and other vaccinations. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information or visit www.cdc.gov/hpv

JUNE HAPPENINGS

May 30 – Aug. 11: LLCHD Summer Food Program, nutritious meals for children ages 2 to 18, during the summer, while school is out. More at: www.lincoln.ne.gov, keywords summer food

May 30 – Aug. 11: Lincoln Parks & Recreation: Crunch and Lunch is free weekly play and fitness activities, breakfast and lunch for kids K- 8, Peter Pan Park, 33rd & Y streets, and Tuesdays, June 6 – Aug. 8: Free water fitness at Irvingdale Pool (19th & Van Dorn). More on summer fitness and fun at www.lincoln.ne.gov, keyword parks

June 6 & 20: Free dental checks for kindergarten kids at all five Nebraska Family Dentistry locations. More at: www.Nebraska FamilyDentistry.org

June 9 – Home Run for Health with the Lincoln Saltdogs by Bryan Health, free fun at Haymarket Park. Fireworks, pregame festivities include fun and interactive health, safety activities, players meet & greet, bounce houses and play area. More at: www.saltdogs.com/bryanhomerun/

June 17 – Juneteenth, free celebration of culture, family, health and wellness hosted by the Malone Center at Trago Park, 22nd & U Sts. More at: www.malonecenter.org

June 24 – American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Downtown Canopy Street. Team members take turns walking around a track or designated path to raise money for cancer research. More at: www.RelayforLife.org/lancastercone, or call (402) 423-4893 ex.4109

Find many of Lincoln’s health, fitness, and wellness events listed on the event calendar at the City of Lincoln website, lincoln.ne.gov, keyword 10 Health. 10 Health’s YouTube channel has an extensive video playlist on cancer topics.

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