Pay attention. It might save a life.

No one likes being told to go see a doctor, likes paying to go see a doctor, and no one likes to think it’s necessary to go see a doctor. That said:

Go see a doctor.

The numbers clearly prove that early detection – either through self-exams with the knowledge of how to search, or the much more proven practice of seeing a physician and getting tested – is the best way to fight cancer.

Skin cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer – the list is long and infamous.

And deadly.

Who among us reading this has not had some type of personal loss or threat related to cancer?

Not many. Cancer kills, and if you’re smart enough to be reading this, you are smart enough to fight back.

During 2019, there will be an estimated 1.8 million new cancer cases diagnosed in the United States, in addition to previously diagnosed cases.

From those 1.8 million new victims, 606,880 of us will die.

Approximately 38.4 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes. That equates to almost two out of every five of us.

An estimated 42,260 breast cancer deaths in the U.S. will occur in 2019.

An estimated 101,420 cases of colon cancer and 44,180 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed.

Almost 81 percent of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. are still caused by smoking. Risks are associated with all types of smoking and vaping, including prolonged exposure to second-hand smoke by victims who aren’t smokers themselves.

Awareness, or lack of, is part of the problem. If you’re reading this, you no longer have that excuse.

Action, or lack of, is a bigger part of the problem. Cancer is a tough enough fight when it is detected early, and the longer it goes undetected, the harder it is to win the battle. Your best chance in this fight is to be aggressive in attacking it first before it attacks you.

Auburn basketball Coach Bruce Pearl founded the AUTLIVE Cancer program, in which he challenges every one of us who hears the cry to become aware of what cancers most likely threaten us, and how we should be tackling the threats.

Pearl is coaching college students to have heart-to-heart talks with their parents to convince them to get screened.

He is coaching all of us to accept his challenge to AUTLIVE cancer.

Good coaches are good motivators, and Pearl fits this mold. We wholeheartedly agree with and support his AUTLIVE Cancer mission.

However, if good coaching doesn’t convince you, perhaps the overwhelming statistics will.

Cancer is a mean, ugly, hated, killer disease. Almost all of us have faced it or will fact it in one form or another.

Make yourself go see a doctor, and ask what tests or screens are most appropriate for you.

And do so now. If ignorance and apathy are the two biggest preventers, procrastination is the next ally to cancer death. Go now and make the appointment or plans for an appointment that could save your life.

You’ve heard the coach. If you want to win this challenge to AUTLIVE cancer:

Do it.

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