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!”

Super Colon

Don’t miss your chance to get a tour of a human colon. That’s right, a colon!

The Super Colon, a 20 foot long, inflatable, walk-through colon, will be at the JC Penney East Court inside the Battlefield Mall from 9 am – 7 pm.

As visitors walk through the Super Colon, they will get an up close look at simulated healthy colon tissue, tissue with non-malignant diseases like Crohn’s and colitis, polyps, and various stages of colon cancer.

Nurses from Cox Health Systems and St. John’s Health Systems will be available to answer any questions regarding cancer screening, prevention tips, risks of developing colon cancer, and symptoms and treatment options.


National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and the American Cancer Society wants to encourage everyone 50 and older to go get tested for colon cancer!

Colon Cancer is the third most common type of cancer diagnosed in men and women, but it is also one of only two types that can actually be prevented through screening.

When screened, if the doctor finds a polyp (a growth on the inside of the colon) it can be removed before the growth ever even becomes cancerous.

Knowledge of screening has increased, and overall colon cancer rates have decreased with both men and women over the past two decades. This decrease is due in part to early detection and removal of precancerous polyps.

Although the number of individuals diagnosed with colon cancer has decreased, approximately only half of the U.S. population, age 50 and older has been tested. So please, go get checked, and please recommend to others you know, that they go get checked as well for colon cancer!

Regularly scheduled colon cancer screenings can help save lives and help achieve the American Cancer Society’s goal of creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

The American Cancer Society Recommends the following tests to find early detection of colon cancer:

Tests That Detect Adenomatous Polyps and Cancer

Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years

Colonoscopy every 10 years

Double contrast barium enema (DCBE) every 5 years, or

CT colonography (CTC) every 5 years

Tests That Primarily Detect Cancer

Annual guaiac-based fecal occult blood test

Annual fecal immunochemical test (FIT) Stool DNA test (sDNA)

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