Dr. Clayton Lawrence, CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on overall wellness in an otherwise toxic world. (Always consult with your own physician before beginning any new diet/exercise routine).
As a medical professional, I am fortunate to have the “inside scoop” regarding research into various diseases and conditions and the ways in which we can work to stay as healthy as possible. And as a youth mentor, I understand that my actions (not just my words) have an incredible impact on those who turn to me for guidance and support.
Many years ago, I discovered that my passion for staying fit, my commitment to setting a positive example and my desire to be an advocate for youth- and health-related organizations could be culminated in one place: marathon running.
Since 2011, I have participated in nearly 120 marathons worldwide for amazing organizations like Smile Train, the American Institute for Cancer Research and Students Run LA, among others. This Sunday, November 24, 2019, I’ll participate in the American Association for Cancer Research Philadelphia Marathon. This is an especially personal race for me since my father passed away due to prostate cancer. I see this as a great opportunity to highlight the importance of cancer research and early detection.
According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Black American men are 76 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men and 2.2 times more likely to die from the disease. Although there really is no rhyme or reason to when or why cancer strikes or who it will affect, researchers believe lifestyle habits, genetics and nutrition play a large role. So how can we individually join the fight against this giant for ourselves and others?
Find a trusted doctor.
Learn to communicate, even if something seems insignificant or embarrassing.
Educate yourself about the statistics of various types of cancer.
Get to know your family history.
Learn how your ethnicity may affect your chances of developing certain types of cancer.
Schedule preventive screenings that are used to detect illness at an early age, such as mammograms, prostate-specific antigen blood tests and colonoscopies.
Understand that early detection is the key to successful treatment!
Contribute financially to organizations that support cancer research.
Volunteer your time to help raise funds or, like me, seek out ways fundraise doing something you love.
Join a social group that offers support and knowledge.
Exercise daily and maintain a healthy weight.
Eat a healthy diet that is filled with plenty of fruits and vegetables and limits processed meats.
Reduce your use of and exposure to known carcinogens, such as tobacco products, synthetic chemicals and ultraviolet rays.
Know your body and react appropriately when something seems “off,” such as a changing mole, a change in bowel or bladder habits, unexplained weight loss or a persistent cough.
If you’re interested in making a donation to my personal page in support of the American Association for Cancer Research Philadelphia Marathon, you can do so here: https://runsignup.com/LEAPFOUNDATION.
88 cents of every dollar donated allows the organization to continue its mission to “prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, collaboration, funding, and advocacy.”