Cancer continues to be a leading cause of illness and death in America. Awareness is an important part of prevention, healing, and coping for families. We’ve compiled a list of health tips for reducing cancer risk and the signs to look out for. Kicking bad habits and staying healthy go a long way in preventing cancer.
Be Active And Maintain Healthy Weight
Sedentary lifestyles are known to increase the risk for a variety of illnesses. Cancer is no exception. Staying active and regularly increasing your heart rate is not only good for the soul but also improves your health and reduces the chance of cancer. Include at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day and work toward a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate to intense physical activity.
Eat a plant-based diet and reduce intake of high-calorie food. Plant-based diets are shown to have a variety of health benefits and this isn’t limited to cancer risk reduction. Here’s a quick resource for more on how plant-based diets help with a variety of health concerns.
Cut back on alcohol and processed foods and you’re on your way to a healthier weight and reduction in cancer risk.
No Smoking, No Tobacco
No matter the form of tobacco product, they all have dangerous chemicals that cause cancer. Whether its cigarettes, cigars, vapes, secondhand smoke, it’s all bad for you and there is no “safe” form.
Quitting smoking if you’re a smoker is a sure-fire way to reduce the risk for cancer. Quitting tobacco products of any kind provides benefits to your health overall.
Viruses may lead to certain cancers and the best defense against infections is immunization. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is shown to increase the risk for throat, cervical, tongue, anal, and other genital cancers, and the vaccine is a huge measure of prevention for HPV and its related cancers.
Protection From The Sun
The sun’s UV rays are well known to cause cancer. Use sunscreen and use it generously. Wear hats and cover exposed areas with clothing. Try to stay in the shade as much as possible, and avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm. Tanning beds and sun lamps are a no-go.
Screen For Cancers
Commit to regular screenings to help detect cancers early. Keep your doctor in the loop and let them know any concerns you have for cancer. By detecting potential cancer early, you’ll maximize your chance for successful treatment.
Signs Of Cancer
If you’re concerned about the risk of cancer, here are some signs to look out for:
- Nagging cough or hoarseness
- A sore that doesn’t heal
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere
- Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
- Obvious change in a wart or mole
- Change in bowel or bladder habits
When in doubt, visit your doctor and discuss your symptoms. Whether it’s screening, a test or a continued discussion, they’ll provide the best next steps for you.
Cancer isn’t always preventable, but by committing to making healthy habits a priority, you’ll not only feel better but reduce the risk of cancer. Remember that cancer is inherited in 5 – 10% of cases, and your environment is more likely to play a role in your risk. By taking the steps above, you’re more likely to stay healthy, feel better, and reduce your risk for serious illness and cancer.
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