There are about 12.7 million cancer cases globally every year, and this number is expected to increase to 26 million by 2030. The US has the 7th highest overall cancer rate in the world, with approximately 1.7 million new cases of cancer diagnosed per year.
To kick off National Cancer Prevention Month, the National Foundation for Cancer Research encourages individuals to pick up cancer-preventative habits. While there is no certain way to prevent cancer, there are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood. You can TAKE ACTION to lower those risks through healthy lifestyle choices, getting recommended cancer screenings and vaccinating against certain viruses. It is never too late to take action and start living a healthier life.
Tips for Reducing your Risk
1 . Maintain a Healthy Weight and Active Lifestyle
- Be as lean as possible without being underweight
- Eat a mostly plant based diet (lots of fruits and vegetables)
- Limit processed meats, alcohol and sugar.
- Include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. Even better, strive for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity.
2. Avoid smoking and tobacco products
- All forms of tobacco products have many chemicals that damage DNA and cause cancer - No forms are safe including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco/snuff, hookas/waterpipes & even secondhand smoke.
- Researchers have proven over and over again that any tobacco use is detrimental to health. It puts users at risk of not only lung cancer, but cancers of the larynx, mouth, esophagus, throat, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas, colon and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. Environmental tobacco smoke (known as secondhand smoke) may also expose others to the risk of developing cancer.
3. Sun protection
- Stay out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
- Generously use sunscreen, cover exposed areas with hats or loose clothing & utilize the shady areas when outdoors.
- Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps.
4. Get Immunized
- Certain viruses can cause cancer. There are vaccines that have been proven to be effective in reducing risk.
- The Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can significantly decrease the risk of several cancers including cervical, throat, tongue, anal, and other genital cancers.
- The Hepatitis B vaccine decreases the risk for liver cancer.
5. Get Screened
- Regular screenings help detect cancers early and maximize your chance for successful treatment.
6. Know your family history
- 5-10% of all cancers are inherited - Understanding your family history can help guide your discussion with your physician of when you need to start cancer screening and whether to consider genetic counseling.
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