If you're in the unwelcome position of needing as much good information as possible about cancer treatments and support, take a look at the American Cancer Society's revamped website. The society hopes the changes it has made will make the site more user-friendly and helpful.
The site should also prove useful for people who are interested in cancer prevention, as well as anyone who's interested in getting involved in helping people who are dealing with cancer.
From the organization's announcement:
"The new cancer.org is divided into four main sections -- Stay Healthy, Find Support & Treatment, Explore Research and Get Involved. ... The Stay Healthy section provides information on steps consumers can take to help prevent cancer, find cancer early and stay well; the Find Support & Treatment section offers information to guide you or a loved one through every step of a cancer experience; the Explore Research section explains what research the American Cancer Society is conducting to better understand, prevent and cure cancer; and the Get Involved section shares the many ways Americans can get involved to fight back against cancer through volunteering, participating in events and offering financial support."
There are new tools, such as a "My ACS" feature that allows users to gather and store information that is personally relevant, and the ability to search for local programs and services based on your ZIP Code.
Since I've been lucky with my health so far, I went to the "Stay Healthy" section to see how I was doing in helping keep things that way (to the extent that such things are within one's control). Stay away from tobacco -- well, I can't say I did that all my life. I took a Health Check -- on my weight and family history and basic eating and workout habits -- and got a "personalized action plan," with pats on the head for things I was doing right and some gentle but clear statements about things I was doing wrong and how I might want to improve. The idea is, you print this out and take it to the doctor to discuss.
Then I tried out the quizzes and calculators. I did the calorie counter to figure out how many calories I need each day. (News flash: Those 2,000 calories a day on all the nutrition panels may not apply to you.)
Much more besides that at the site, which can be found at cancer.org.
-- Rosie Mestel
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