You’ve probably heard conflicting reports about cancer prevention. Sometimes a specific cancer-prevention tip recommended in one study is advised against in another.
Often, what’s known about cancer prevention is still evolving. However, it’s well-accepted that your chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make.
Instead of just waiting for new breakthroughs, you can do a lot to protect yourself right now. This article will delve into the research and look at some habits that may lower your risk of cancer.
- DON’T USE TOBACCO. Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. 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. If you need help quitting tobacco, ask your doctor about stop-smoking products and other strategies for quitting.
- EXERCISE REGULARLY. Physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer. Exercise also appears to reduce a woman’s risk of breast and possibly reproductive cancers. Exercise will help protect you even if you don’t lose weight.
- MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT. Keeping your weight in check is often easier said than done, but a few simple tips can help. First off, if you’re overweight, focus initially on not gaining any more weight. This by itself can improve your health. Then, when you’re ready, try to take off some extra pounds for an even greater health boost.
- EAT PROPERLY. Reduce your consumption of saturated fat and red meat, which may increase the risk of colon cancer and a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE SUN. Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer — and one of the most preventable. Try these tips:
· Avoid midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
· Stay in the shade. When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat help, too.
· Cover exposed areas. Wear tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for bright or dark colours, which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than do pastels or bleached cotton.
· Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.
· Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. These are just as damaging as natural sunlight.
- DRINK LESS. Excess alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, larynx (voice box), oesophagus (food pipe), liver, and colon; it also increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Smoking further increases the risk of many alcohol-induced malignancies.
- PROTECT YOURSELF FROM STD. Among other problems, sexually transmitted infections are linked to a number of different cancers. Protecting yourself from these infections can lower your risk. Keep these tips in mind
· Aside from not having sex, the best protection is to be in a committed, monogamous relationship with someone who does not have a sexually transmitted infection.
· For all other situations, be sure to always use a condom and follow other safe-sex practices.
· Never rely on your partner to have a condom. Always be prepared.
- GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D. Many experts now recommend 800 to 1,000 IU a day, a goal that’s nearly impossible to attain without taking a supplement. Although protection is far from proven, evidence suggests that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and other malignancies. But don’t count on other supplements.
- GET SCREENING TESTS. There are a number of important screening tests that can help protect against cancer. Some of these tests find cancer early when they are most treatable, while others can actually help keep cancer from developing in the first place. For colorectal cancer alone, regular screening could save over 30,000 lives each year.