Cancer Prevention: Tips to Reduce Your Risk

Each year on February 4th, World Cancer Day empowers all of us across the world to show support, raise awareness and to encourage cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. Many cancers can be managed and even cured if detected and treated as early as possible. Here are some tips for preventing this horrible disease.

Protect yourself from the sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer and one of the most preventable. The first step in preventing skin cancer is to avoid ultraviolet (UV) ray exposure. We can do this by wearing sunscreen, avoiding midday sun, wearing protective clothing when outdoors, and staying well away from tanning beds.

Don’t use tobacco

Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer. Avoiding tobacco or deciding to stop using it is an important part of cancer prevention.

Limit Your Alcohol Intake

Some research shows that drinking even a small amount of alcohol increases your chances of developing cancer, including oral, breast and liver cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that people who drink alcohol limit their intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink a day for women.

Be physically active

When you exercise, you are not only making yourself healthier, you are decreasing your risk of certain types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney. Strive to include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine and if you can do more, even better.

Get vaccinated

Vaccines also help lower cancer risk. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and several other kinds of cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine can help lower liver cancer risk.

Avoid risky behaviors

Another effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. Always practice safe sex, never share needles with others and avoid harmful environments filled with pollutants, radiation, second-hand smoke and other cancer-causing substances.

Get regular medical care

Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix and breast can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful.

Eat a healthy diet

Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources such as whole grains and beans. Plant nutrients reduce inflammation, which is associated with the development of cancer, and some can stop or even kill cancer cells. Also avoid eating large amounts of red and processed meats which are high in saturated fats and associated with increased risk for certain cancers.

 

Source: mayoclinic.org

 


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