Self reflection helps St. Louis woman better lifestyle, encourage community to help find what causes & prevents cancer

It’s never too late to make a change- is just one of Michelle Nischbach’s mottos.  For Michelle, staying fit and trim came naturally to her most of her life.  She was active, athletic, and participated in many sports when she was younger.  However, as a busy career woman, married and a mother of 2, she took a real hard look in the mirror one day and didn’t like what she saw.

Michelle Nischbach

Michelle Nischbach

“Something needed to be done,” said Michelle.  “I was very diligent.  I lost 25-30 pounds. I had to just knock it right off.”   Michelle has become a runner, just completing her third half marathon, and manages her weight to appropriate standards at all times.  “I maintain a very healthy balance of eating right and exercising.”

What prompted Michelle’s lifestyle change was the weight gain, but more importantly, she realized she wasn’t getting any younger.  She also realized she needed to be doing everything she could to avoid a diagnosis of cancer or another disease.   “No one is free from a cancer diagnosis- but you can reduce the odds if you do the right things.”

When her employer, UMB Bank, announced participation in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study- 3 (CPS-3), it caught Michelle’s attention.  “Unfortunately, you encounter people every day that have been negativity impacted by cancer,” said Michelle.   “And what is being asked of a participant in the study is very small, but can have a huge impact….it’s just about being and staying committed.”

This historic study has the potential to change the face of cancer for thousands and thousands of lives, here in St. Louis and nationwide.  Men and women between the ages of 30-65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer are needed to participate in the study.  The opportunity for local residents to enroll will take place at various locations across St. Louis from April 23 to May 1.  To learn more or to sign up, visit cancerstudymo.org.

For more than 60 years, the American Cancer Society has been conducting large-scale, nationwide population studies to examine the causes of cancer and how it can be prevented.  The many results from these studies have had a tremendous impact on public health. For example,  in  2006, guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention were published which encourage individuals to maintain a healthy weight throughout life, adopt a physically active lifestyle, choose a healthy diet with more plant sources, and limit the consumption of alcohol beverages.  The American Cancer Society has since validated the effectiveness of these guidelines to see if following them really does lower risk of dying from cancer and other diseases.

Michelle’s words of encouragement “It’s never too late to make a lifestyle change. It doesn’t have to be extreme, like running marathons.  Anyone can do it- you just gotta get moving!”

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