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TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH, PREVENT CANCER
16 May 2019
Our chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices we make. Research shows that by making simple lifestyle changes we can help prevent the disease. Here are some tips to follow for cancer-prevention:
1. DON'T USE TOBACCO
Using any type of tobacco can increase your risk of cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Avoiding tobacco — or deciding to stop using it — is an important part of cancer prevention. If you need help quitting tobacco, ask your doctor about stop-smoking products and other strategies for quitting.
2. EAT HEALTHY
Eating these healthy portions of a meal can reduce the risk of cancer:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans.
- Avoid obesity. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-calorie foods, including refined sugars and fat from animal sources.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation: The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney, and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you've been drinking regularly.
- Limit processed meats. Eating large amounts of processed meat can slightly increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Follow the Mediterranean diet by choosing healthy fats, such as olive oil, over butter and fish instead of red meat. Focus mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
3. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT &BE ACTIVE
Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon, and kidney. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. Include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine.
4. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE SUN
Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer and can be prevented by following these tips:
- Avoid midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 am. and 4 pm, when the sun's rays are strongest.
- Stay in the shade. When you're outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat help, too.
- Cover exposed areas. Wear tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for bright or dark colors, which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than do pastels or bleached cotton.
- Don't skimp on sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF30, even on cloudy days. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or perspiring.
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. These are just as damaging as natural sunlight.
5. TAKE VACCINATIONS
Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about vaccination against:
- Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain adults with sexually transmitted infections, people who use intravenous drugs or public safety workers exposed to infected blood or body fluids.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys aged 11 and 12.
6. GET REGULAR MEDICAL SCREENING
Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix and breast — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening schedule for you.
Article Source: Mayo Clinic