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A Twist to the 12 Days of Christmas

December 14, 2006

Des Moines, IA – The American Cancer Society has made the "Twelve Days of Christmas" healthier, with 12 handy tips for the holidays that will reduce your risk of cancer. Kim DeVolder with the ACS Iowa chapter explains that they're even based on the famous holiday song.

"On the first day, quit smoking. Then make smart choices about dining in smoke-free restaurants. After that, get your yearly physicals and your screenings done. We also advise a person to pay attention to their body and any changes that may occur. If you notice anything, talk to your doctor immediately."

DeVolder acknowledges that during the holiday rush, it can be especially hard to take time for self-care, but she insists it will pay off in the New Year.

"If you focus on one of the twelve aspects each day, it will ultimately bring you to a healthier lifestyle. In the long run, it helps reduce your chance of hearing the words, 'You have cancer.'"

DeVolder estimates in the coming year, more than 16,000 Iowans will be diagnosed with some form of cancer, and about 6,000 will die from the disease. For the "Twelve Days" prevention tips and other healthy lifestyle hints, visit the ACS Web site, at www.cancer.org.

Dick Layman/Eric Mack, Public News Service - IA