Cancer it's a scary word.

Cancer is the leading cause of death for Finney County adults in their most productive middle years. It's the second leading cause of death in America after heart disease for Americans of all ages.

The bad news is that one in two men and one in three women have the probability of developing some type of cancer in their lifetime.

The good news? The American Cancer Society estimates that about one-third of the 560,000 cancer deaths expected in 2009 may be caused by factors that can be changed, such as poor nutrition, physical inactivity and obesity.

Learn more about protecting yourself from cancer at the Extension program "Preventing Cancer With Your Knife and Fork" at noon Oct. 16 in the 4-H Building in Garden City. Both men and women are encouraged to attend.

We'll explore the top eight cancers affecting Kansans, along with foods that have been indicated to reduce cancer risk, and diet and lifestyle guidelines to prevent cancer. A free lunch of cancer-preventing foods, along with door prizes and goody bags, are included.

There is no charge for this health program, thanks to funding support from the Kansas Nutrition Council, the Finney County Center for Children and Families and the Western Kansas Community Foundation. This educational program is hosted by Extension FCS agents in Finney, Scott, Wichita and Hamilton counties.

Attendance is by ticket only. Pick up your free ticket at the Finney County Extension Office, 501 S. Ninth St., or call 272-3670 by Oct. 7. A $5 late fee will be charged for those who register after Oct. 7.

According to the U.S. Cancer Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, the incidence of cancer in Kansas is slightly higher than the national average for each type of cancer surveyed. The top 10 cancer types affecting Kansas adults are: 1) prostate, 2) breast, 3) lung, 4) colorectal, 5) uterine, 6) bladder, 7) non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 8) melanomas of the skin, 9) kidney cancer and 10) leukemia.

Cancer prevention is the key. Our program, "Preventing Cancer with Your Knife and Fork," will emphasize diet and lifestyle modifications you can make to reduce your risk of developing cancer.

Despite solid, science-based guidelines for eating to prevent cancer, one in four people thinks confusing messages about foods and cancer should be ignored and that everyone should eat what they want, according to a survey for the World Cancer Research Fund released earlier this year.

This program will help to reduce the confusion and set the record straight. It is not a program about treatment for those who already have cancer. "Preventing Cancer with Your Knife and Fork" is for everyone who wants to learn ways to avoid becoming a cancer statistic. Come and learn what you can do to protect yourself from one of our nation's major killers. Pick up your free ticket for this informative noon-hour program today.

Learn more about other lifestyle issues on my Living Well blog at