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Empowering Cancer Prevention Through Lifestyle and Early Detection


February is Cancer Prevention Month and health experts are urging individuals to prioritize healthy habits and stay up-to-date with cancer screenings. 

Cassandra Grenade, MD, an OhioHealth medical oncologist at the Delaware Medical Campus, stresses the importance of early detection and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of various cancers. With more than 100 different types of cancer, she challenges the common misconception that most are genetically inherited. 

“I hear this on a weekly basis, but the genetically inherited cancers are the minority of cancers that we see,” Dr. Grenade told Mansfield News Journal reporter Zach Tuggle. 

Dr. Grenade, who is in her second decade of practice, has treated thousands of patients, emphasizing the diversity of cancers she's encountered. "I see all different types of cancer," she said, adding that breasts and lung cancers are among the main types she treats. 

The treatment process begins with diagnosis and according to Dr. Grenade, "The earlier the cancer is found, the better the prognosis. It's like wearing your seat belt while you drive the car. You can still get into an accident, but you decrease your risk for severe injury.” 

Screenings, such as colonoscopies, play a crucial role in early detection. 

"The screening for colonoscopy used to be 50, and now it's 45,” Dr. Grenade said. “And the reason why they dropped it five years is because we were seeing an increase in the number of younger patients with colorectal cancer: colon and rectal cancer.” 

While screenings are essential, lifestyle choices play an important role in cancer prevention too. Many doctors recommend adopting a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with less emphasis on processed foods, red meat, and sugar. 

"There is data of the consumption of red and processed meat with increased risk for colon and prostate cancer," Dr. Grenade said. And the connection between sugar and cancer isn't about sugar directly fueling cancer. Instead, it's about sugar causing insulin resistance, which, in turn, can lead to various other health issues. 

But despite healthy habits, individuals are not immune to cancer. 

"You can have stage-4 cancer and don't know it,” Dr. Grenade said. “Be aware of your body and symptoms, and don’t ignore them. Don’t put it off because it could be something serious.” 

"Ultimately, you should have a discussion with your family provider so that you can have a detailed discussion of the risk versus the benefit of screening. It varies for everyone.” 

To learn more about OhioHealth’s cancer care or to schedule an appointment, click here

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