Healthy Tips for Cancer Prevention

Cancer is said to be one of the leading causes of death for people all over the world. Researchers have also found that about 40 percent of all cancer diagnoses within the United States are attributed to preventable causes.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month, a month to raise awareness for different types of cancer and prevention methods. Dr. Raye Budway, Breast & General Surgeon with St. Clair Medical Group mentions, “There are ways to lower your chances of developing cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices. Healthy life decisions help balance the internal struggle of the formation of cancer at the cellular level and your body’s ability to dismiss or eliminate those cells that lead to cancer. You may want to consider following these lifestyle tips as part of cancer prevention goals.”

Refrain from Using Tobacco

All forms of tobacco are not only highly addictive, but also harmful to your health. Utilizing tobacco in the form of smoking has been linked to the development of cancers such as cancer of the lung, throat, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidney. Secondhand smoke can also be dangerous and can increase the risk of lung cancer. Chewing tobacco can be just as harmful and has often been found as the cause of mouth, throat, and pancreas cancer.

It is preferable that individuals refrain from the use of tobacco products. However, if tobacco is already being utilized regularly it is recommended that the individual quit or decrease their use of tobacco to reduce their risk of developing cancer.

Consume a Healthy Diet

Making healthy decisions when it comes to the diet that you consume can help to reduce the risk of developing cancer. It is recommended that you fill your diet with fruits and vegetables while avoiding foods that are high in sugars and fats. Diets that avoid large amounts of processed meats are also highly encouraged. Drinking in moderation is recommended as alcohol has been found to increase the risk of cancers such as breast, lung, kidney, and liver.

There are also foods that can help to reduce the risks of cancers. For example, mixed nuts and olive oil have been found to help lower the risk of breast cancer.

Include Physical Activity into Your Routine

Being physically active is good for your overall health and it can help to reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer. It is highly recommended that everyone have a goal of at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. A good goal for most people would be to perform 150 minutes a week of moderate activity or 75 minutes a week of hard aerobic activity.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

The UV rays that are emitted from the sun can be damaging to your skin and can be the cause of skin cancer. To lessen your chances to developing skin cancer it is recommended to utilize sunscreen, stay in the shade, and cover your skin. It is also encouraged to avoid the sun between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm and to avoid tanning beds or skin lamps.

Get Your Vaccinations

There are certain viral infections that can lead to the formation of some cancers. For example, the hepatitis B & C viruses can increase your risk of developing liver cancer, while Human Papilloma Virus or HPV can lead to cervical or other genital cancers.

Getting the vaccinations for these diseases as well as others can help protect you from an increased risk of developing cancer.

Avoid Risky Behavior

While, vaccinations help protect against certain infections and diseases it is beneficial to avoid behaviors that could cause the contraction of these illnesses. Not all diseases have a vaccination to help prevent them and the increased risk of cancer that correlates with them.

Diseases like HIV, HPV, and Hepatitis B and C can be avoided by practicing safe sex and not sharing needles with others. By avoiding these risky behaviors you are also avoiding the increased risk of cancer.

Stay Up to Date on Medical Care

There are screenings and self-exams for early detection and screening for exposures that can be done to help to determine whether or not cancer is present or whether you are a higher risk for developing certain cancers. If detection screenings are done regularly they can help to find cancer in its early stages. When cancer is caught early, treatments are more likely to succeed. Knowledge is power and having the knowledge that you may be at high risk for developing cancer related to genetic or exposure factors can help by identifying an intensified screening for particular cancers.

By seeing your primary care provider (PCP) who can help in identifying risk factors, you can mitigate your risk with a developed screening plan. It is recommended to see your primary care provider regularly to help prevent and avoid the development of cancer. Contact your PCP to figure out the best cancer prevention methods and practices for you.

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