Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk
Cancer is an unpredictable disease, but there is strong evidence indicating that a few basic lifestyle changes can help us prevent or fight off this deadly disease. Living a healthy lifestyle can also help reduce the risk of other serious diseases and boost your odds for living a longer life. Here are some cancer-prevention tips to consider.
Don’t Smoke Tobacco
According to cancer researchers, tobacco is responsible for nearly a third of all cancer deaths. Research has shown that smoking is linked to various types of cancer, including lung, throat, mouth, pancreas, larynx, kidney, and cervix cancer. Chewing tobacco can cause oral cavity and pancreas cancer. Even if you’re not a smoker, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase the risk of getting lung cancer.
Avoiding tobacco is an important part of cancer prevention. If you can’t stop using tobacco, you should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional about quit-smoking products and other strategies for quitting.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The type of food you eat can drastically affect your health. Although a healthy diet doesn’t guarantee cancer prevention, it can certainly reduce the risk of getting certain types of cancer. Here are some of the tips for your diet.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Base your diet on vegetables, fruit, and other plants, such as beans and whole grains.
- Limit processed meats. According to the World Health Organization, processed meat consumption has been closely connected to a higher risk of certain types of cancer.
- Avoid Obesity. Eat leaner and lighter by avoiding high-calorie foods, including fat from animal sources and refined sugars.
- Drink alcohol moderately. Alcohol abuse can lead to various types of cancer — including colon, breast, liver, and kidney cancer. The risk of getting these types of cancer increases with higher alcohol intake.
There are several viruses that can lead to various types of cancer. Therefore, vaccination plays a vital role in cancer prevention. You should talk to your doctor about vaccination against:
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common sexually transmitted disease. In most cases, HPV doesn’t cause problems, but some types of the virus can lead to cervical and other genital cancers. In some people, an oral HPV infection can lead to squamous cell cancer. The HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls of age 10 to 12.
- Hepatitis B. It’s scientifically proven that Hepatitis B can cause liver cancer. The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for adults at high risk — people with STDs, adults who are sexually active and have multiple partners, people who use intravenous drugs, healthcare workers who are frequently exposed to infected body fluids or blood, and men who have sex with other men.