6 Things You Can Do Now to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

By on August 10, 2017
6 Things You Can Do Now to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

By Corinne Keating—

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying at any age. While treatments have come a long way and cancer does not mean a death sentence, the best way to beat cancer is prevention. There are many things you can do to reduce your chances of getting cancer. Start doing these now to cut your risks.

  1. Eat Healthy

Eating healthy foods not only helps you maintain your weight, but it also plays a role in cancer prevention. You don’t have to eat only vegetables or deprive yourself of foods you like to eat — just make healthy choices. Eat lean meats, vegetables and fruits, and whole grains.

Fruits and vegetables make better snack choices than chips or sweets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the occasional treat. Just try to avoid foods made with refined sugars and animal fats. 

Processed meats should also be avoided if you want to reduce cancer risks. Processed meats, like hot dogs, bologna, bacon and deli meats, are considered carcinogens

  1. Stay Active

Exercise is a must for all ages. Studies show that even 20 minutes of exercise daily can help reduce the risk of 13 types of cancer. How does exercise help? Physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight, strengthen your immune system and reduce insulin and sex hormones. 

Find something you enjoy doing, so you can stick with it. Walking, bike riding or any activity that gets you off the couch can help prevent cancer. 

  1. Don’t Smoke or Drink

Both smoking and drinking are linked to increased cancer risks. You shouldn’t smoke at all, and enjoy alcoholic beverages in moderation. Moderation means reducing alcohol intake to two drinks per day for men and one for women

  1. Get Vaccinations

Some viral infections are linked to cancer, so it’s important to get vaccinated as recommended by your doctor. Both hepatitis B and human papillomavirus have shots available to protect you against them and reduce your cancer risks.  

Since some viruses are sexually transmitted, it’s also important to practice safe sex.

  1. Use Sun Protection

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and is also the most preventable. You can cut you risks by following a few tips:

  • Don’t use tanning beds
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure
  • Wear sunscreen and cover exposed skin
  • Avoid midday sun
  • Stay in the shade outdoors when possible
  1. Get Regular Checkups

When you get regular checkups, you also get your get routine screenings that can help prevent cancer or at the very least, catch it early. Diagnosing cancer early gives you have a higher chance of successful treatment

Your doctor can let you know when screenings are needed based on age and other risk factors. Some routine screenings include mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies and prostate exams.

While there are no foolproof ways to ensure you won’t ever get cancer, taking good care of yourself and following these tips are a good way to remain healthy. Even if you are diagnosed, a healthy person is better able to get through treatment and may have a better chance of beating this disease. 

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6 Things You Can Do Now to Reduce Your Cancer Risk