How to Reduce the Risk of Cancer


Lowering Your Risk of Cancer

Lowering Your Risk Of Cancer

As the number 2 cause of death in the United States, trailing heart disease by only a slim margin, cancer is a factor in 1 out of every 4 deaths. In the US alone it is estimated that 580,000 people will succumb to cancer and another 1.6 million new cases will be diagnosed. Here are a few simple steps you can take to lower your risk of cancer.

1. Diet

Diets that include a lot of cooked red meat have been linked to increased risks of breast, colon, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. The link may be caused by carcinogens that are created when meat is cooked at high temperatures. Consuming coffee has also been shown to reduce the risk of liver cancer.

2. Weight

Although no direct link has been made between eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods, starches, and sugar, the contribution that this kind of diet has to maintaining a healthy weight is a major reason that doctors recommend diet to reduce the risk of cancer. Being significantly overweight or obese has been shown to be a major risk factor for cancer. The cause may be that hormones produced in the body’s fatty tissues promote the growth of cancer cells.

3. Activity

As part of an overall healthy lifestyle, exercise and activity play a crucial role in not only physical but mental health as well. Links have been found between overall health and the risks of developing cancer.

4. Tobacco

By now you know that smoking is “the” leading cause of lung cancer. Despite a dramatic reduction in the number of people smoking due to changes in social attitudes, and laws prohibiting smoking, lung cancer still remains the leading cause of cancer death. Although the number of adults smoking 30 or more cigarettes a day has gone down, the number of people smoking 1 to 9 cigarettes a day has actually gone up. The sale of small cigars and chewing tobacco products has also increased dramatically. Smokeless tobacco, although being less lethal, still contributes to a host of cancers including mouth, throat and pancreatic cancer.

5. Sun

Mutations to your body’s cells can be caused by exposure to UV light. Excessive exposure to the sun particularly if you get bubbling, peeling sunburn increases your risk of certain types of cancer. Practice smart sun care by covering up with clothing and a hat if you are going to be in intense sun, use sunscreen and plan your activities to avoid being outdoors during the hours of the most intense sun exposure.

6. Heredity

It’s not something you can change but being born with certain genetic mutations may make you more prone to developing cancer. Most cancers of the bodies major organs require more than one mutation so knowing that you have a predisposition to developing cancer may help you be more aware of other risk factors.