Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow rapidly and uncontrollably. These cells can spread and take over other parts of the body.
This can be life-threatening, so research for cancer prevention and possible cures is very important. Cancer research, like all other types of scientific research, is always evolving, but there are a few agreed-upon tips about preventing (or at least lowering your risk of) cancer.
1. Eat A Healthy Diet
Certain foods can increase your risk of developing cancer. Alcohol, for example, can cause liver, kidney, and colon cancers when it’s consumed in large amounts.
If you drink alcohol, make sure that you drink in moderation to not increase your risk of developing cancer. Other foods, such as processed meats can increase your risk of cancer.
Eating large amounts of red meat can cause a slight increase in this risk. Instead, limit the amount of processed meats you eat, and increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you eat.
You should also incorporate antioxidants in your diet because they have the ability to eliminate free radicals in the body— which are known to cause cancer.
Examples of foods high in antioxidants include:
- Blueberries, strawberries, and other berries
- Dark chocolate
- Grapefruit and other citrus fruits
- Green tea and kombucha
- Kale, spinach, and other leafy greens
- Pecans and other tree nuts
- Sweet potatoes, carrots, and other orange fruits and vegetables
2. Engage In Regular Physical Activity
Breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, and colon cancer in both may be able to be prevented in some individuals who engage in regular physical activity.
This is because maintaining a healthy weight, in general, can help you reduce your risk of developing cancer. This, combined with eating healthy can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Physical activity can be described as walking, or anything that gets you moving. Exercise, on the other hand, is more intentional and repetitive.
It’s recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week for the most benefits.
3. Protect Your Skin From The Sun
Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in both men and women, and it’s also one of the most preventable cancers.
Unfortunately, even though wearing sunscreen is the most obvious way to prevent skin cancer, many people still skip out on wearing it, apply it wrong or not frequently enough, or use a low SPF.
In order to effectively prevent skin cancer, people of all ages and all skin tones should wear at least an SPF 30 sunscreen every day, and reapply at least every two hours if you’re going to be outside.
It’s also important to note that tanning beds are no safer than being exposed to the sun. Avoid or strictly limit your use of tanning beds and sunlamps to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
4. Avoid Known Carcinogens
Another obvious way to reduce your risk of cancer is to avoid cancer-causing substances, and the most well-known carcinogen is tobacco. The majority of people know that smoking cigarettes can lead to lung cancer— even smokers know this.
However, smoking can also lead to other cancers, such as mouth, throat, esophageal, pancreatic, bladder, and kidney cancers. When you stop smoking (or if you never start), you reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Unfortunately, some everyday products are carcinogens, and many of these are unknown until it actually proves to cause cancer. An example is the OTC (over-the-counter) medication Zantac, an antacid.
Some individuals who have taken this medication have developed cancers such as bladder, stomach, or thyroid.
Keep in mind that some people may have genetic abnormalities that make them more susceptible to developing certain types of cancers than other people. This can mean that not all types of cancers are preventable, but healthy lifestyle habits can help reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Another way to be proactive is to get regular checkups at your doctor’s office, and regular cancer screenings if certain cancers run in your family and at a certain age when cancers are more likely to develop. Almost all cancers can be successfully treated when detected early.
Overall, living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding known carcinogens is the best way to reduce your risk of developing cancer, and regular doctor’s visits will give you a better outcome if you do happen to develop cancer.