Answer this. How many times have you come across the term – cancer? Probably, quite often, right? Maybe you know someone in your friends or family diagnosed with this life-threatening condition. Around 10 million people have died because of cancer worldwide in 2020. According to World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is one of the top leading causes of worldwide deaths. And although we wish no one becomes a victim of this disease. Still, it is better to understand what you can do to avoid developing cancer risk.
Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells grow uncontrollably and spread to different body parts. Several factors play a role in the development of cancer. However, the good news is many types of cancers are preventable today. Your lifestyle habits play a crucial role in lowering specific risks. Below is the rundown of some of the easiest and most effective ways scientists suggest that can help to reduce cancer risk.
Get regular cancer screenings
Regular screening tests help doctors detect cancer cells or symptoms earlier and suggest ways to treat them. So talk to your primary care provider about how often you must come in for screenings. Doctors can perform various imaging tests and a biopsy to diagnose rare cancer forms, such as epithelioid mesothelioma, before the condition worsens. Identifying cancer sooner can help healthcare professionals find patients the best possible treatment plan and improve the survival rate.
When it comes to lowering cancer risk, staying active is crucial. Studies show that exercising can reduce the chances of various cancers, including breast and colon cancer. However, you don’t necessarily have to join a gym for physical activity. Instead, you can add brisk walking, biking, dancing, or other physical activity to your routine. In addition, working out each day can boost your mood, reduce stress, and help you keep your body physically fit.
Eat healthy food
Improving your diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer. Thus, avoid consuming processed food and red meat. Consume fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and beans for a healthy diet. Eat at least 2 ½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day. Also, minimize your intake of sugary beverages, refined bread, desserts, and chips. Healthy food helps protect your body from cell damage and bolsters your immune system.
Limit alcohol consumption
Put it this way; the more alcohol your body consumes, the higher the risk of developing liver cancer. Various types of cancers, including oral, breast, liver, and colorectal, have possible links to alcohol intake. Therefore, if you are an alcoholic, you need to minimize your consumption. It is advisable not to consume more than two drinks per day for men. Women should limit themselves to one only to lower cancer risk.
Say no to tobacco
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking can cause cancer, heart attack, diabetes, strokes, etc. In addition, tobacco consumption has led to more than 7 million death per year globally. Therefore, stop consuming tobacco of any form. If you smoke, quit it since smoking may cause mouth, bladder, stomach, lung, cervical, or throat cancer. Be mindful; non-smokers are also at risk if they inhale smoke.
Avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun
One of the risk factors of skin cancer is exposure to UV rays. Skin cancer is the most common yet preventable cancer. The sun and sunlamps give off ultraviolet rays that cause skin damage, leading to skin cancer. Thus, apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun with an SPF of 30 or more. In addition, use sunglasses or cover yourself with broad hats when UV rays are strongest. Also, don’t forget to avoid unnecessary radiation.
Maintain your weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can help you lower cancer risks and many other health-related problems, such as heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Obesity is one of the risk factors for many types of cancer. These include esophageal, gall bladder, thyroid, breast, endometrial, and colon cancer. You can control your weight by managing your calorie intake, eating healthy, and exercising.
Try safe sex
Do you have enough sexual partners to need more than your two hands to count them? Well, then you might need to worry. The more your sexual partners, the more chances you might contract sexually transmitted disease – HIV or HBV. HBV spreads from one person to another due to unsafe sex. It can cause prolonged liver infection, which raises the chances of liver cancer later on.
Cancer primarily disturbs the way a human body functions by growing abnormal cells uncontrollably. And while there is no guarantee that any type of cancer is entirely preventable, living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk. Many of these tips can give you a nudge on the right path. Of course, you don’t have to start adopting all these prevention tips at once. Even sticking to small changes each day can do wonders over time.