The next time you are out and about in public, take a look around and think…50% of all the men in here will get diagnosed with cancer, as will one-third of all women. Its crazy to think about it this way, especially when there are so many simple ways to avoid the big “C”. Below is a list of some of the best ways to prevent cancer:
1. DON’T SMOKE!!!! (DUH!)
Using any form of tobacco is the quickest way to get yourself a visit with the oncology wing of your local hospital! And we’re not just talking about lung cancer here. Smoking has been tied to many types of cancer including lung cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer and kidney cancer. Additionally, chewing tobacco is closely tied to oral cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Oh, and second-hand smoke, that also increases your chances of getting cancer! So, if you or a loved one is a smoker, quit it!! If you need help quitting, thee are many options available to you these days (its easier than you think). Talk to your doctor about it, you will be glad you did!
2. Eat a Healthy & Nutritious Diet
This one falls under the category of “reduce your risk of getting cancer”. Making healthy choices at your local grocery store in addition to eating out can make a huge difference. Here are some of the basic rules; eat lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains and beans are good, keep the fat intake to a minimum, and try to limit meats and high fat content items. Diets that contain a lot of fat usually equates to high caloric intake which increases your risk of obesity, which correlates with an increase in cancer risk.
If you like a nice craft beer or fine wine, that’s cool, just keep the overall alcohol intake also to a minimum. Drinking alcohol on a regular basis is known to increase the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, kidney cancer and liver cancer. If you’d like to understand this a little deeper, read up the effects of antioxidants and free radicals on the body.
3. Exercise and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Frequent trips to the gym can help lower the risk of breast, prostate, kidney, lung and colon cancers. Can’t make it to the gym that often, no worries, there are plenty of things you can do to include physical activity into your daily routine. Try to get about 20-30 minutes a day of some form of physical activity, be it a brisk walk, climbing stairs or playing in the yard with your kids! You will be shocked at how much happier your life will be when you recognize the benefits of exercise.
4. Protect yourself from the sun
One of the most preventable forms of cancer is…you guessed it, skin cancer. Unfortunately, its also one of the most common. The first thing you need to know is that the suns rays are strongest between 10am – 4pm. If you can, try to avoid extended time outside during those times.
And, covering the areas of your body that are exposed to the sun can also help. Hats, glasses, long sleeves etc. And most importantly, make sure you wear sunscreen if your going to be catching some rays, and stay far away from tanning beds!
5. Get immunized
This is the one that most people dont usually think about, but one way to prevent cancer is to avoid particular viral infections. Just a bit of advice, ask our doctor about getting immunized against things like hepatitis B, which can increase the rick of developing liver cancer. Another one to consider is the Human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted virus that is closely linked to cervical cancer.
6. Self Examinations & Screenings
This one’s a biggie, and is particular to your age and gender. There are various types of screening methods for breast cancer, colon, skin, cervical and prostate cancer, among others. Getting screened on a regular basis can drastically increase your chances of finding cancer at its earliest stages, which is crucial to fighting it.
The most common types are mammograms and prostate exams, but there are many ways that medical imaging and cancer screening companies are looking for cancer these days. Be sure to speak with your doctor about getting checked on a regular basis!