10 Ways to Lower Cancer Risk

Posted: Aug 09 in cancer, Health And Wellness by

Did you know that cancer is the second most common cause of death in American adults, second only to heart disease? There are many kinds of cancer, and many causes ranging from genetic risk to environmental exposures. Nevertheless, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk both of getting cancer and of dying from cancer.

  1. Talk to your doctor about recommended cancer screenings – stay up to date on colonoscopy, mammography, etc.
  2. Know your genetic risk – if you have a family history of cancer, talk to your doctor about additional cancer screening and prevention strategies.
  3. Report abnormalities to your doctor immediately – blood in the stool (colon cancer), a lump where it doesn’t belong (thyroid, breast), funny looking new mole (skin cancer), etc. Finding cancer earlier gives you the best shot at a cure.
  4. Don’t use tobacco products in any form. Tobacco has been shown to increase the risk of lung and mouth cancers.
  5. Eat healthy foods / limit alcohol consumption / limit processed meats.
  6. Maintain as healthy of a weight as you can (Obesity contributes to 13 forms of cancer including cancers of the gut – colon / esophagus / stomach / pancreas / gallbladder / liver, female cancers – breast / ovary / uterus, thyroid, brain – meningioma, multiple myeloma, and kidney).
  7. Be as physically active as you can.
  8. Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear sun screen.
  9. Get vaccinated (Hep B vaccine lowers liver cancer risk, HPV vaccine lowers cervical cancer risk.
  10. Avoid risky behaviors – for example, practice safe sex.

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