February is National Cancer Prevention Month!
In many cases, what is known about cancer prevention is still evolving. However, it's well-accepted that your chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make. The following are seven ways you can reduce your risk:
- Don't use tobacco: Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with 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.
2. Eat a healthy diet: Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can't guarantee cancer prevention, it might help reduce your risk. Consider these guidelines: Limit processed foods, and alcohol. Eat mostly plant based foods.
3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active: Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. But for substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. As a general goal, 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 one of the most preventable.
5. Get immunized: Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about immunizations.
6. Avoid risky behaviors: Another effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. Practice safe sex, and don't share needles.
7. Get regular medical care: 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.
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