Cancer Prevention: 7 Tips to Reduce Your Risk
According to an article by the National Cancer Institute, the Genetic factors that one can inherit from a parent or develop during one’s lifetime are responsible for a low percentage of cancer cases. This means that environmental and lifestyle factors cause a more significant share of cancers globally. The Institute further states that more than half of cancers in the past two decades could have been prevented by applying our current knowledge.
Below are some of the recommendations by the experts that will help you reduce your risk of cancer.
1. Eat a healthy diet
Increasing your consumption of high nutrient foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains will drastically reduce cancer risk. Limit consuming highly processed food and refined grains, sugar-sweetened beverages, saturated fats, and red meats.
2. Avoid tobacco
The use of Tobacco in all forms is associated with various types of cancer, primarily lung cancer. There are numerous chronic conditions connected to tobacco use. Quit tobacco use to help protect yourself and your family. Non-tobacco users are also at risk of developing lung cancer and other respiratory conditions due to secondhand smoke exposure. Tobacco use is one of the highest cancer risk factors. It is responsible for about 22% of cancer-related deaths in the world.
3. Protect yourself from the sun
One of the most common types of cancer is skin cancer. The risk of developing melanomas and other skin cancers is increased with continuous exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Take sun safety measures to protect yourself from the sun such as, wearing sunscreen even on cloudy days, avoiding the midday sun, and covering exposed areas of your body when outdoors.
4. Limit alcohol consumption
It is best not to drink alcohol for cancer prevention. Excess alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of cancers in the mouth, liver, esophagus, and colon. If you must drink, limit your alcohol intake to an average of one drink per day.
5. Engage in physical activity
Just 30 minutes of physical activity is proven to impact your general health and well-being positively. Inactivity and obesity are shown to increase the risk of cancers such as breast, colon, and colorectal cancers. Incorporate exercise sessions into your daily routine, no matter how short each session is. The key is to start moving. Doing this will help you maintain a healthy weight, increase energy, boost your immune system, and reduce cancer risk.
6. Get vaccinated
Certain cancers are linked to certain viruses, including the Human papillomavirus infection (HPV). HPV was linked to over 45,3000 cancer cases in a four (4) year period. Research shows that individuals with Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) are at an increased risk of liver and cervical cancer. There are vaccines available against HPV and HBV, which would inadvertently reduce cancer risk. Talk to your healthcare professional about receiving these vaccines.
7. Get regular cancer screenings
There are tests available that detect cancer early in some instances. Examples of this are the HPV DNA test that detects cervical cancer and the colonoscopy test, which detects colorectal cancer. Screenings can help detect precancerous lesions, which can be removed or destroyed before they progress to cancer. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screenings for you.
Additionally, practice safe sex. The viruses that can contribute to cancers such as HPV and HIV are mostly transmitted sexually. These viruses can also be spread through the misuse of needles. Avoid risky actions that can lead to an infection with these viruses.
Our blog content is for informational and educational purposes only. No content on this blog should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your healthcare professional.