Cancer Prevention Tips
According to the National Cancer Institute (2020), there are about 1.8 million new cases of cancer per year in the United States. Did you know that 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and 40% of cancer diagnosed in the US in 2020 were potentially avoidable?
February is National Cancer Prevention Month and we are offering a number of preventable habits you can adopt into your everyday lifestyle to not only reduce your risk but live a healthy life.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Obesity is a risk for at least 13 types of cancers, as well as having an elevated risk of death from those cancers. Combining a healthy plant-based diet and exercise may reduce one’s likelihood of obesity and risk of cancer. Exercise should include a minimum of 30 minutes of any form of physical activity daily.
2. Don’t smoke.
Smoking is related to about 80%-90% of lung cancer deaths in the United States. Quitting the habit will decrease your chances greatly. Tobacco products have DNA-damaging chemicals that cause cancer.
3. Drink moderately.
Alcohol consumption may increase your risk of developing cancers of the mouth, throat, colon, liver, and breast. According to the USDA’s dietary guidelines, moderate drinking includes one drink per day for men and women.
4. Lather up the sunscreen.
Sun protection is vital to ensuring a lowered risk of developing cancers relating to the skin. It is recommended to use a generous amount of sunscreen on sun-exposed body parts. Avoid the use of tanning beds and cool off in the shady areas outside.
5. Schedule cancer screenings.
Early detection of any kind of health issue is vital to ensure the best quality care. Regular screenings allow for early detections and reduce the riskier development of cancers in late detections. According to the U.S. Preventative Service Task Force, it is recommended to undergo regular screenings for breast and cervical cancers.
The likelihood of cervical cancer development may be reduced when you get vaccinated for HPV. Furthermore, HPV not only increases the risk for developing cervical cancer, but it increases the risk of anal and vulvar cancers, as well. Additionally, liver cancer risk may be reduced when vaccinated for hepatitis B. These vaccines are safe and effective and provide additional preventative measures for cancer.
7. Research your family history.
Cancer is a genetic disease that is caused by changes in genes that control the way cells grow and multiply. Up to 10% of all cancers may be caused by inherited genetic changes. Your family history may serve as a guide to your risk of developing certain types of cancers.
Cancer Prevention Awareness Month allows us the opportunity to educate the public about the risk of various cancers. With the information available to us today, we can use this opportunity to provide preventative measures that may be adopted to the daily routines of everyday people.
You can always go to uhru.org and learn more about colorectal cancer and screening options to help prevent you from developing colorectal cancer.