10 Tips to prevent Cancer
Looking for ways to cut your risk of developing cancer? Here’s some tips to prevent cancer.
- Avoid using tobacco and alcohol consumption. Smoking has been associated with 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 secondhand smoker is prone to increase risk of lung cancer. So, avoiding tobacco or stopping to have tobacco plays an important role in cancer prevention. You can add up to 10 years to your life by quitting. Small amounts of alcohol whether it’s beer, wine or hard liquor can bump your risk for some cancers. If you truly want to play it safe, don’t drink at all. Not only will you cut your chances of getting cancer, you’ll lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease.
- Eat a healthy diet According to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual international conference, Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, eating four or more salads a week may further reduce a former smoker’s risk for lung cancer. Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which helps to repair damaged cells by smoking. But we all know how important eating more green is to overall good health. Eat at least 30 grams of fiber (from food sources) a day. Start having whole grains (like brown rice, oats, barley and rye), non-starchy vegetables (something other than potatoes and corn), fruits and legumes like beans and lentils. Aim for at least five daily portions/servings of veggies and fruit.
- Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active You can break physical exercise into 10- to 15-minute blocks, and even more activity may be better, notes Collins. “Where cancer prevention is concerned, physical activity is important to maintaining a normal, healthy body weight,” says Richard C. Wender, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University. Make the effort to become physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
- Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation. Medical imaging studies only when you need them. Check your home for residential radon, which increases the risk of lung cancer. Protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, which increases the risk of melanomas and other skin cancers. But don’t worry about electromagnetic radiation from high-voltage power lines or radiofrequency radiation from microwaves and cell phones. They do not cause cancer.
- Get vaccinated Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about vaccination against Hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
- Avoid risky behaviors Another effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. For example: Practice safe sex and avoid sharing needles.
- Make quality sleep a priority Admittedly, the evidence linking sleep to cancer is not strong. But poor and insufficient sleep increases is associated with weight gain, which is a cancer risk factor.
- Limit consumption of “fast foods” and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars. Greasy fast-food cheeseburgers, boxes of macaroni and cheese, blueberry muffins as big as your fist and candy bars are not your friends. These processed, packaged or pre-prepared foods may seem convenient but they’re loaded with bad fats, starches and sugars and have been clearly linked to the rising rates of obesity and all that goes with it. Focus on real food.
- Limit consumption of red and processed meat. Keep red meat consumption (such as beef, veal, pork, lamb) to no more than three portions per week for a total of 12 to 18 ounces. Eat very little to no processed meat (i.e., anything salted, cured, smoked). Get your protein from whole grains, legumes, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs. Limit red meats to 18 ounces per week, says Collins, who suggests using chicken, seafood, or legumes in place of red meat. Collins isn’t saying to never eat red meat, just do so in moderation.
- For mothers: breastfeed your baby, if you can. The World Health Organization advises mothers to feed breast milk exclusively for six months, then to breastfeed along with appropriate complementary foods for up to two years after. According to a study published in the July 20, 2002, issue of The Lancet, the longer you breast feed your baby the greater your breast cancer risk is reduced.