Lufkin doctor explains why cancer survivor rates improving

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Breast cancer survivor Judy Wyche says routine cancer screenings saved her life.

"I didn't have any signs, no lump or anything suspicious," Wyche said. "I felt fine, and my routine mammogram revealed a problem."

Her cancer was caught early enough to avoid any complications or even the risk of it taking her life.

"Treatment is so minor now, compared to some people who aren't detected until later," Wyche said. "So, I think early detection was the key to my success."

Doctors agree.

Cancer survival rates are higher, according to Temple Cancer Center Medical Director Sid Roberts.

Regular screenings, a healthy lifestyle and proper diet and exercise his suggestions for helping prevent cancer altogether.

"We have an obesity epidemic going on right now," Roberts said. "And, there's no question that diet and exercise are beneficial, not only in terms of heart disease, but also in terms of cancer reduction as well."

Roberts says the most common cancer-related death come from lung cancer, especially true here in East Texas.

The solution is simple: quit smoking.

He says at least half of all smokers die from smoking related illnesses.

"Even if we do just what we know to do right now, we can probably triple the improvement that we've seen in cancer deaths," Roberts said.

Prevention is a proven way to fight against cancer.

"We can't expect medicine to fix what we're not willing to prevent," Roberts said.

For Wyche, screening gave her a longer life to share with her family.

"I want to be there for them," Wyche said.

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