Healthy diet, exercise ward off cancer
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, making prevention an important aspect of research and lifestyle choices.
Healthy diet and exercise are steps to keep health risks at a minimum, as are avoiding exposure to sun, chemicals and smoking. Regular checkups, including mammograms and other screenings, are also vital in prevention. Early treatment is usually effective, giving people cancer-free second chances.
A healthy immune system is an important defense in preventing and reducing the risk of cancer and a positive attitude can make a difference.
Boren looks forward returning to Tahlequah
A 10-year survivor of breast cancer, former Tahlequonian Norma Boren says she’s looking forward to moving back.
She appreciates the people, the geographic beauty and community atmosphere of Tahlequah.
“Everybody is so warm and friendly,” Boren said. “And being married to a full-blood Native American, I wanted my two sons to grow up in a community that respected their heritage.”
Students gear up for Red Ribbon Week
When it comes to teaching children about the dangers of drug abuse, the Tahlequah community takes a vigorous, hands-on approach.
TCH offers extensive care
In Cherokee County and the surrounding area, people dealing with cancer have access to a state-of-the-art local facility.
Through its Northeast Oklahoma Cancer Center, Tahlequah City Hospital’s on-site cancer treatment capacity is on par with that of any urban hospital or research university.
“I am in charge of radiation therapy oncology at the center,” said Dr. Daniel Murphy. “We have a basic linear accelerator - the most advanced available. With this standard platform, we can perform 85 to 90 percent of radiation treatments. If someone needs something more advanced, we can refer [him or her] to another facility.”
Cancer survivor credits her healing to God
When life is at its bleakest point, people often turn to faith to lift them up.
Cancer survivor Betty Kosterlistzkey credits the Lord for her remission from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood that affects the bone marrow.
In 2007, Kosterlistzkey was working at the Stilwell hospital. She was losing weight, and her co-workers began to notice.
“They were wondering why, and it kind of irritated me at first,” said Kosterlistzkey. “I was eating, and I had always been quick to say if something was wrong with me.”
CN program reaching out to survivors
With advances in early detection and treatment of cancer, more and more people are surviving their battles against the growing epidemic.
“Survivors face a lot of different emotions – physical, emotional, psychosocial, financial,” said Margie Burkhart, supervisor of the Primary Prevention Project for Cherokee Nation Healthy Nation. “We want to address the needs they might have.”
Cancer support groups often enhance self-esteem, reduce depression, decrease anxiety and improve relationships with family and friends, according to the American Association for Cancer Research.
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NeoHealth offers care options
For those living in rural areas, a cancer diagnosis can mean the further hardship of traveling long distances for treatment or management of the disease.
In small towns, a local health clinic is often the initial step in a cancer diagnosis. In Hulbert and Westville, the role is filled by Northeastern Oklahoma Community Health Centers Inc., known as NeoHealth.
“Many of the doctors at NeoHealth are primary care physicians, and on occasion we see a patient who has developed cancer,” said Kenneth Gibson, a doctor of osteopathic medicine for the Hulbert clinic. “If we see symptoms of cancer, we warn the patient that they are present, but we do not make the diagnosis. We refer the patient to a hospital for testing or to an oncologist.”
Cherokee Nation offers cancer programs for citizens year-round
Although the month of October spotlights breast cancer awareness, the Cherokee Nation offers cancer programs and prevention initiatives year-round.
The Cherokee Nation provides cancer screenings and support groups and maintains a cancer registry of Native Americans diagnosed within the tribe’s 14 counties for research and prevention.
National statistics show that mortality rates for cancer is higher among Native Americans than other races, and incidence rates are increasing.
Folks ‘bug out’ to OKsWagen
Polka music greeted Volkswagen enthusiasts Saturday, as visitors admired vehicles lined up along the North End Entertainment District of Tahlequah for the second annual OKsWagen Festival.
Bugs, vans and Karmann Ghias shone in the morning sunlight. Children and adults took paint brushes in hand and added personal art to a Volkswagen parked in the middle of the street just to decorate as “Artswagon.”
Watching over the Artswagon, Donna Agee kept the paint containers filled. She said Artswagen was to entertain the little ones, while parents walked up and down the street, looking at cars.
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