Do you need a lifestyle change?

It’s two months into the new year and most of us are still talking about making changes. When was the last time you had a physical, a mammogram, a prostate exam or checked your blood sugar level?

How many times have you said that you were going to eat right, exercise, take your medication or start taking care of yourself because you are always taking care of others?

I recently lost a brother to the “Big C,” lung cancer. He smoked cigarettes and “weed.” He enjoyed his alcoholic beverages as well. A lifestyle change was needed but he never seemed to make the effort.

He was comfortable and enjoying himself. He died at 68 years old.

Addictions took his life before his life was over. When he found out he had cancer, it was too late.

What disease is lurking in your body that could be preventable, but you are just too busy to go to the doctor to be checked? Maybe you are comfortable and enjoying yourself, just like my brother.

What are the excuses? “I don’t like waiting 25 to 30 minutes to see my doctor” or “the doctor doesn’t know what he or she is talking about.”

I bet if I told you that you have first-stage cancer, you would stop everything. You would be there, “front and center.”

Some form of cancer is taking lives every day.

Early detections can save lives.

Did you know that 90 percent of lung cancer is tobacco related? Do you know the side effects of smoking? Have you counted up the cost of a tobacco habit, monetarily and physically? Are you that person who said “all my friends smoke and all of them drink too; I don’t want to be the odd ball, so I’ll smoke and drink too?”

There are a lot of good habits out there; smoking is not among them.

The more you smoke the more your chances increase of getting lung cancer. Whether you smoke one cigarette or a pack of cigarettes a day, you need to know being exposed to any level of tobacco smoke is not safe.

My brother had tumors in the brain and the lungs. Who knew that within three months of finding out he had cancer that he would die.

I hope you are not that person who says, “I don’t smoke cigarettes, I smoke a pipe or a cigar, therefore I don’t have to worry.” Smoking these items places you at risk too.

Do you know that loved ones exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased risk of getting lung cancer?

There are about 3,000 nonsmokers who die yearly in the United States from lung cancer, because someone was smoking a cigarette, a pipe, or a cigar around them.

Get a physical and remember that early detection saves lives.

For more information, visit www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/guide/lung-cancer-causes and www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/index.htm.