10 Ways to Prevent Cancer and Stay Healthy
The main reason behind cancer development is alterations to the DNA in your body cells. These genetic mutations can either be inherited or occur because of environmental factors, such as pollution, toxicants, parasites, radiation, and contaminated food or water.
The risk of cancer relies on several different things. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 33% of cancer deaths occur due to excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption, high BMI, insufficient physical activity, and low vegetable and fruit intake.
You are probably familiar with the conflicting reports about preventing different types of cancer. However, if you have ever searched for cancer prevention tips online, you may have felt confused about what to believe. In addition, sometimes, a particular tip suggested in one research is cautioned in another.
Cancer prevention tips are probably still evolving. Not all cancer types can be prevented; however, it is well-recognized that making healthy lifestyle choices can minimize your risk of developing various cancer types.
Take the following cancer prevention tips to stay healthy and protect yourself from this deadly disease.
1 Avoid Exposure to Toxic Substances
Exposure to certain chemicals at home, at work, or outdoors may increase your risk of getting cancer. Beryllium, vinyl chloride, asbestos, arsenic, and benzene are some of the well-known human carcinogens. However, an individual’s chance of getting cancer depends on when, how long, and how much they’re exposed to toxic chemicals.
For example, exposure to asbestos in the workplace can be severe. It can occur over long periods and at high levels. Employees may be unaware that asbestos exposure could lead to rare and incurable cancer, mesothelioma.
Reports suggest around 3,600 mesothelioma lawsuits were filed in 2020 in the U.S.
If you reside somewhere around Texas, the USA, working with a mesothelioma lawyer in Texas can be the best way to claim compensation to combat the disease and pursue justice after a diagnosis.
Moreover, if you are working in an industry where you could be exposed, wearing protective clothing, equipment or respirators can help you prevent swallowing or inhaling toxic chemicals.
2. Limit alcohol intake
The consumption of excessive alcohol is linked to 6 different cancer types – liver cancer, mouth and throat cancer, esophagus cancer, cancer in the voice box (larynx), breast cancer, and colon and rectum cancer. In addition, the more you consume alcohol, the higher you are prone to developing cancer.
If you are habitual of drinking heavy amounts, try limiting it to a moderate level. And, of course, zero alcohol is the best choice to keep yourself healthy. In addition, choosing nonalcoholic drinks at parties, getting support from a healthcare professional, and avoiding events that trigger your needs can help you quit your unhealthy habit and prevent you from developing cancer.
3. Stop Smoking
We are all familiar with smoking tobacco is the most significant cause of lung cancer. 80% of deaths due to lung cancer are caused by smoking, and others by passive smoking.
Not limited to that, smoking tobacco can cause more than sixteen different types of cancer. In addition, cigarette smoke can impair your immune system, thereby hindering the killing of cancer cells. Consequently, cancer cells keep increasing.
Quitting smoking is challenging but never impossible. Start simple. Reduce it from 5 cigarettes to 3 cigarettes per day, then three cigarettes to 2, and so on. Also, acquiring help from your healthcare professional can increase the chances of success.
4. Eat Healthily
Although specific diets cannot guarantee cancer prevention, they might help people minimize the risk. For example, diets high in processed foods, especially meats, have a higher cancer risk.
Focus on eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans, pulses, and whole grains. In addition, choosing healthy fats and cutting down on refined carbs and sugars can reduce your risk for prostate and colorectal cancer.
5. Exercise Regularly
Physical inactivity can be one of the risk factors for various types of cancer, such as breast, colon, prostate, endometrium, and pancreatic cancer.
While it can be difficult for some people to find the time for physical activity, it is essential to exercise at least thirty minutes every day. You can even start as simple as walking. Choose something you enjoy. Run to the nearest park, walk to the grocery store, or join your friend at the gym. Ensure setting aside time for exercise every day.
6. Protect Yourself From Radiation
Skin cancer is one of the known cancers which is caused due to excessive radiation exposure. For example, sun lamps and tanning booths give off ultraviolet radiation, raising your risk of developing cancer in the skin, including melanoma. Other radiations, such as those found in x-rays and radon, can impair DNA, leading to cancer. However, skin cancer is preventable, and the following tips can be helpful:
- Avoid going outdoors between 10 am to 5 pm, as the sun’s rays are powerful at midday.
- When you are outdoors, try to stay in the shade.
- Cover your skin as much as possible.
- Remember to apply sunscreen with an excellent SPF, even if the weather is cloudy.
- Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds as they are as harmful as sun rays.
7. Keep Your Weight In Check
One of the well-known risk factors for cancer is obesity. It can raise your chance of developing thirteen different cancers, making up about 40% of all cancers detected in the USA.
Keeping your weight in check can be challenging, but it has great benefits for overall wellbeing. First, ensure to check your weight every month. If your BMI exceeds the normal, make sure you take off extra pounds.
8. Get Your Vaccinations Timely
Biological carcinogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, can be one of the culprits behind cancer. If you’re concerned about your health and want to alleviate your risk of developing cancer, remember to discuss it with your doctor and get vaccinated against viruses, such as hepatitis B and Human papillomavirus (HPV).
People suffering from Hepatitis B are at a higher risk of getting liver cancer. In contrast, HPV, a sexually transmitted virus, can lead to genital and squamous cell cancers. Hence vaccination against these viruses can help protect you from cancer.
9. Avoid Using Harmful Chemical-Containing Products
More than half of skincare and makeup products contain toxic substances associated with severe diseases, including cancer. The products can be contaminated with formaldehyde, carbon black, lead, mercury, talc, and asbestos. Research has shown that toxic substances contained in cosmetics can absorb through the human skin, causing harm to the brain and leading to cancer.
It may get tricky to find some ingredients in your cosmetics as they are often hidden in formulations. However, researching the toxicants and checking them every time you buy a product can be the best way to avoid using harmful cancer-causing products.
10. Get Yourself Checked Regularly
Regular self-examination is one of the best ways to discover cancer early, especially breast cancer. Look for any changes in breasts, including their shape and size, skin texture, rashes, or lumps.
There are several cancer screening tests to help people protect against it. Some include mammography, colonoscopy, a transvaginal ultrasound, a Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, etc. Ask your healthcare professional about the benefits and risks of screening tests and ensure getting the best screening schedule for you.
There are many reasons cancer can be caused, including hereditary, environmental toxins, and biological carcinogens. Some cancers have a low survival rate and are unpreventable, while others can be treated if diagnosed early. However, it is well accepted that opting for healthy choices in your lifestyle can be beneficial in alleviating the risk of cancer. Restricting alcohol intake, quitting smoking, regular exercise, a healthy diet, getting vaccinated, applying sunscreen, and getting yourself checked by your doctor can avoid developing this life-threatening disease and stay healthy.