Cancer Prevention Tips
While cancer cannot be prevented entirely, you can still take steps to reduce your risk. If you are concerned about your chances of developing cancer, heeding these tips can help you diminish your risk.
Quit Using Tobacco
Whether you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products, kicking the habit can significantly lower your risk of developing cancer — not to mention it can decrease your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems, and other health issues.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is one of the top ways to reduce your risk of developing cancer. A healthy diet means:
- Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet as well as whole grains and beans.
- Limiting high-calorie and fatty foods.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Limiting the intake of processed meats and cheeses.
It’s also important to keep proper meal portions of the foods you eat. Check with your doctor on the serving sizes and caloric intake that is right for you. Since obesity is one of the risk factors of developing certain cancers and other diseases, eating the right foods along with proper portion sizes, can help you keep a healthy weight.
You don’t have to be a gym rat or marathon runner to keep your body healthy and in good shape. Staying active and adopting a regular exercise routine can help reduce the risk of cancer and boost your immune system too! Before starting any workout regimen, consult with your doctor first.
Here are some fun ways you can keep your body in motion:
- Bicycle riding (whether outdoors or stationary)
- Doing yard work chores or gardening
Limit Your Exposure to the Sun
The sun does have its health benefits. For example, it can boost your vitamin D, as well as lift your mood on a bright and sunny day. However, when overexposed and unprotected when you are in the sun, you could be at risk of developing skin cancer. Protect yourself by doing the following things before going in the sun:
- Avoid peak sun hours - Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4.p.m when its UV rays are strongest.
- Stay in shady areas - When outdoors, seek out areas of shade as much as possible.
- Dress appropriately - Cover exposed areas of your body with light-colored and loose clothing. Also, be sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Apply sunscreen - Use at least an SPF of 30 and don’t forget to wear sunscreen on cloudy days. If you are swimming or sweating, be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours to stay protected.
It’s also important to avoid tanning beds. The UV light that tans your skin is just as damaging as the sun.
Talk to Your Doctor About Vaccinations
Some vaccinations can help protect you from certain viral infections that can lead to cancer. It’s essential to speak to your doctor to find out if the following vaccinations are right for you:
- Hepatitis B Vaccination - Since hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer, high-risk adults may benefit from this vaccine — such as sexually active adults, or healthcare workers who may be exposed to infected body fluids or blood.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) - As mentioned above, HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other types of cancer. The HPV vaccine may be right for those who are between the ages of 9 and 26, so check with your doctor to determine if you may be a candidate for this vaccine.
Get Regular Screenings and Conduct Self-Exams
Early detection of cancer can lower the chances of it spreading to other parts of your body as well as increase your chances of survival. Sticking to regular screenings and checkups can help to determine not only your risk factors but also catch any early symptoms so you can be treated sooner than later. Some cancers may be found early by conducting self-exams for:
Steer Clear of Risky Behaviors
Risky behaviors can lead to the development of certain infections that are known to increase their risk of developing cancer. Reduce your risk of developing certain cancers by:
- Practicing safe sex - Having unprotected sex and multiple sexual partners can increase your risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV or HPV. People who have HIV or AIDS are at risk of developing cancer of the liver, lung, or anus. HPV can increase the risk of developing cancer of the cervix, anus, penis, throat, vulva, or vagina.
- Not sharing needles - Sharing needles with others who use intravenous drugs or are at risk of HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C can increase your risk of developing liver cancer. When it comes to the misuse of drugs or addiction, it’s critical to seek professional care.
The Most Common Cancers in Men and Women
Top Cancers In Women
According to the American Cancer Society, the most common cancers in women are:
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Lung cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Skin cancer
- Ovarian cancer
Top Cancers In Men
According to the American Cancer Society, the following are the most common cancers in men:
- Prostate cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Skin cancer
Take Our Free CancerAware Risk Assessment Test
Early detection of cancer saves lives. If you are concerned about your risks of developing cancer or another health issue, take any of our free HealthAware risk assessment tests.
By taking five minutes to answer a few questions, we can help you assess your risk factors as well as guide you on how you can take action to reduce your level of risk for many different health conditions.
Below are the direct links to the following cancer risk assessments:
To learn more about skin cancer screening, treatment, and prevention, contact The Parrish Cancer Center today at 321-529-6202.