Relay For Life

The big day for Coweta County’s Relay For life is fast approaching, and we at Toyota of Newnan would like to present you with some information on the importance and purpose of this event, as well as ways how we, too, can help in the fight against cancer.

There were 1,529,560 American men and women who battled cancer in 2010. Approximately 569,490 of those Americans lost that battle. These statistics rank cancer the second leading cause of death in the United States, following heart disease. This silent killer holds no prejudices, affecting all ages, sexes and races.

Based on the American Cancer Society’s 2010 statistical report on cancer, the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States is lung or bronchial cancer, massing approximately 28 percent of cancer cases in 2010.

Breast cancer in women is the second most common cancer form. Combined with prostate cancer in men, these cancers account for about 25 percent of 2010 cancer cases. Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, ranks as the third most common cancer, making up for approximately 9 percent of cases in 2010.

So how can we lower these statistics and prevent cancer in our own lives as well as in the lives of our loved ones? Here are five easy ways to help prevent cancer:

  1. Get to know your doctor. Be sure to receive your annual screening tests such as mammograms, colonoscopies, pap smears, etc., and ALWAYS FOLLOW UP. The best and most effective way to prevent cancer-related deaths is early detection.
  2. Avoid excess sun exposure. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, as well as the easiest to prevent. If you plan on spending a day out in the sun, be sure to lather on the sunscreen and wear a hat.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that if you intend on being in the sun longer than 15 minutes, you should apply sunscreen.
  3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. If your plate appears as colorful as a rainbow, you should be on track with this tip. Fruits and veggies contain powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are super molecules that help protect against cellular damage such as cancer. The brighter and deeper the color of the fruits and vegetables you consume, the more antioxidant-packing power they contain. Yes, there is truth in that old phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
  4. Exercise more. Why not? Not only does exercise help us keep in shape, but exercise helps strengthen our immune system. Try to average at least 30 minutes of exercise a day; whether it’s a brisk walk, bike ride, or even just raking leaves or going out dancing, can actually decrease a person’s cancer risk up to 50 percent.
  5. If you smoke, give it up. Smoking is ranked the leading potential risk factor associated with cancer. There are at least 60 chemicals in cigarettes linked to an increased cancer risk, as well as a plethora of other diseases and health problems. Your doctor can discuss other options suitable for your needs if you decide to quit smoking.

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to saving lives. Its mission to find a cure for cancer can only be sustained through fundraisers such as community events like Relay for Life. The American Cancer Society also fights for the cause by helping lawmakers pass legislation to help raise awareness. It invests hundreds of millions of dollars every year, globally, to fight cancer, and has helped save millions of lives affected by cancer each year.

Dr. Gordy Klatt hosted the first Relay for Life in 1985, and has been the signature fundraising event of the American Cancer Society ever since. The experience has been described as “a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.” During the event,  teams of people camp out at a significant local locations such as a park or fairgrounds and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. The idea is to emphasize that cancer never sleeps. As such, relays take place overnight and last up to 24 hours. Each team has sponsors to help raise funds for the event, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

These special events make a difference in millions of people’s lives every year. You can help make a difference by participating in local events near you. Here in Newnan, Georgia, Toyota of Newnan is participating in Relay for Life at the Coweta County Fairgrounds April 29 at 7 p.m. through April 30 at 7 a.m.  Walt Gutierrez, owner of Toyota of Newnan, is this year’s Honorary Chairperson for Coweta County’s Relay for Life.  Walt’s team has made it their mission this year to raise more than $8,000. If you are interested in participating in the event as a team member or would like to make a donation, please contact Emily Mausser, team captain, at (770) 502-1333, or click here.

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