Each year, more than 35,000 people in Indiana are diagnosed with some form of cancer. In an effort to raise awareness and encourage Hoosiers to take more preventive measures against this disease, I participated in the Suits and Sneakers challenge at the Statehouse. The event is part of a nationwide effort by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches to highlight the need to adopt healthy habits to prevent cancer. While we had fun wearing our sneakers with our professional attire, it was an important reminder that too many are impacted by this devastating disease.
My family knows all too well how cancer can affect a person’s life. In 2013, my wife, Rosalie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been cancer-free for six years, and we are incredibly thankful for both her recovery and the outpouring of support she and our family received during that difficult time.
But my wife is not alone. While cancer has taken many lives, the Indiana Cancer Consortium estimates there are nearly 300,000 Hoosier cancer survivors. For many diagnosed, early detection is key. Regular self-examinations for skin, breast, testicular and oral cancers can help catch the disease as soon as possible, and if you find anything abnormal, you should consult a medical professional. To find a location providing cancer screenings in our community, visit www.hendricks.org/cancer. There are also many resources available on their website to support those with cancer, survivors and caregivers.
It is also best to avoid lifestyle choices that can lead to cancer. Eating a healthy diet, wearing sunscreen, exercising, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol use are all good habits develop.
Although there have been many advancements in diagnosing and treating cancer, it continues to take thousands of Hoosier lives each year. I am praying for those impacted by this disease, and encourage you to take every step possible to stay healthy. If you or someone you love have been diagnosed with cancer and need support, please visit www.cancersupportindy.org.
State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,
which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.
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