Cancer Prevention

Cancer Prevention

Summary: Almost one out of three people will get some type of malignant cancer during their lifetime. Setting these statistics aside, there has been great progress in understanding how certain cancers are beginning and the biology of how this is happening. This has helped to improve overall treatment plans thusly lengthening life spans and the survival rates of cancer patients lives. While treatment plans may be advancing, it is still important for us as individuals to do what we can to lower our own cancer risk, and work to prevent cancer from ever occurring. The American Cancer Society developed a reminder tool for people to follow to monitor themselves for cancer. Read more about cancer prevention here.

Almost one out of three people will get some type of malignant cancer during their lifetime. Setting these statistics aside, there has been great progress in understanding how certain cancers are beginning and the biology of how this is happening. This has helped to improve overall treatment plans thusly lengthening life spans and the survival rates of cancer patients lives.

While treatment plans may be advancing, it is still important for us as individuals to do what we can to lower our own cancer risk, and work to prevent cancer from ever occurring. The American Cancer Society developed a reminder tool for people to follow to monitor themselves for cancer. It is:

  • C: Change in bowel or bladder habits
  • A: A sore that does not heal
  • U: Unusual bleeding or discharge
  • T: Thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere
  • I: Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
  • O: Obvious change in a wart or mole
  • N: Nagging cough or hoarseness

While this is a comprehensive list of things to pay attention for, it does not encompass all of the symptoms that can be present with cancer. This is why listening to your own body is so very important. Early diagnosis is key for surviving and successfully treating cancer. Many specialists agree that the earlier the detection, the more likely it is you will live a long life, cancer free.

Here are things you should do to work towards living a cancer preventative life.

1. Avoid tobacco in all its forms, including exposure to secondhand smoke.

2. Eat correctly. Eat the rainbow of vegetable colors each day. Lessen or stop your consumption of saturated fat and red meat, which may increase the risk of colon cancer and a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

3. Exercise routinely. Activity has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer. Exercise also appears to reduce a woman’s risk of breast and possibly reproductive cancers. Exercise can be helpful to many health ailments, even if you are not doing it to lose weight.

4. Stay fit and lean. Obesity increases the risk of many forms of cancer. All calories count

5. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to an average of one drink a day. Excess alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, liver, and colon. Drinking also increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Smoking further increases the risk of many alcohol-induced malignancies.

6. Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation. Get medical imaging studies only when you need them. Check your home for residential radon, which increases the risk of lung cancer. Protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, which increases the risk of melanomas and other skin cancers.

7. Avoid exposure to industrial and environmental toxins such as asbestos fibers, benzene, aromatic amines, and polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs.

8. Avoid infections that contribute to cancer, including hepatitis viruses, HIV, and the human papillomavirus. Many of these diseases are transmitted sexually or through contaminated needles, and some are very difficult to treat.

9. Make quality sleep a priority. While lack of sleep itself will not cause cancer, poor and insufficient sleep increases is associated with weight gain, which is a cancer risk factor.

10. Get enough vitamin D. Many experts now recommend 800 to 1,000 IU a day, a goal that’s nearly impossible to attain without taking a supplement. Although protection is far from proven, evidence suggests that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and other malignancies.

Remember, always check with your doctor before beginning any new supplement or medical treatment. Take the steps to live a cleaner lifestyle to help reduce your own risk for cancer!

Resources Used:

Reclaiming Intimacy

The American Cancer Society, “Caution” List

NIH

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