7 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Cancer

7 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Cancer

7 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Cancer

Scientists estimate that only about 5 percent of all cancers have a genetic origin, meaning our nutrition and lifestyle choices play a major role in the fight against cancer. Here are seven tips for protecting yourself.

In the estimates of scientists, only about 5% of all cancer types are genetic. This means that it is our nutrition and lifestyle that dictates our bodies’ resistance against cancer. Here are seven tips for protecting yourself.

Smokers should quit.

Even with the best nutrition, it cannot cancel out the toxic effects of smoking. If you can go cold turkey then it would be better. However, there are other ways, which includes nicotine replacement, hypnosis, support groups, and prescription medications. Consult your doctor and plan out what would be best for you.

Exercise regularly.

Cancer prevention requires a strong immune system, and your immune system strengthens with regular physical activity. Studies show that adequate exercise can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 50 percent and the risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women by at least 20 percent. Regular exercise has also been strongly linked with lower rates of lung and endometrial cancers. I recommend incorporating exercise in your schedule for 30 to 60 minutes per day and at least five days a week.

Be careful with sun exposure.

Protect your skin from radiation due to too much sun exposure. Some ways you can protect your skin is by covering up with extra clothing, wear a hat, and use sunscreen. You should also avoid spending too much time outdoors when there is high-exposure which is at 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Don’t tan, even tanning beds have also been found to promote cancer.

Lessen your alcohol consumption.

Even though moderate drinking has been shown to decrease the risk for heart disease, alcohol has also shown that it can increase the risk for certain types of cancer. Especially if you’re a woman, it can increase the risk for breast cancer, so be cautious about choosing to drink.

Follow medical screening guidelines.

Some medical tests may help prevent cancer. For example, a fleshy growth in the colon (called a polyp) is usually harmless, but some may develop into cancer. Your doctor can check for polyps during a colonoscopy, and cancer can be prevented by snipping them out before they can become cancerous. Other tests, like mammograms and the blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) can help detect cancers when they are still small and is more likely to respond to treatment. Based on your family and personal medical history your doctor will recommend which tests to get and how often.

If you are a woman, do your hormone research.

Theories about the health effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are continually developing. If you are currently taking or considering starting HRT, consult your doctor about your personal symptoms and risk factors to make an informed decision.

Practice safe sex.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to cervical cancer, and infection with hepatitis C can lead to liver cancer. These infections can be transmitted through unsafe sexual practices, specifically sex with multiple partners. For more information about HPV vaccinations and other ways to protect yourself against these and other sexually transmitted diseases, consult your physician.

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