Studies indicate that at least one in three Americans will develop some type of malignancy during their lifetime. While new medical breakthroughs are increasing the chances of treatment success for those diagnosed with cancer, there’s a lot you can do to protect yourself, starting right now.
Here are 8 things you can do to reduce your risk of being diagnosed with cancer.
Avoid tobacco: Quitting tobacco in all its forms and reducing your exposure to secondhand smoke can help lower your risk of developing cancer significantly.
Eat healthy: Reduce your intake of red meat and saturated fats, since they can increase your chances of developing prostate cancer and colon cancer. Instead, eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Exercise: Maintaining an active lifestyle and exercising regularly can reduce your risk of developing colon cancer, breast cancer, and reproductive cancers. Even if you don’t lose a lot of weight, exercise will help protect you.
Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity increases your risk of developing several types of cancers. So, make sure to exercise and eat the right amount of calories. If needed, count calories and practice portion control to ensure you aren’t eating more than what’s required.
Don’t go overboard with alcohol: If you do drink, limit yourself to just about one drink every day. Excess consumption of alcohol increases the chances of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, colon, liver, and larynx. For women, it also increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Smoking further increases the risk of alcohol-induced malignancies.
Protect yourself against infections that can lead to cancer: These infections include HIV, the hepatitis virus, and the human papillomavirus. Many of these infections are transmitted via the use of contaminated needles or sexually.
Get adequate sleep: While the evidence that links quality sleep to a lower risk of cancer is not set in stone, it is understood that poor sleep can lead to weight gain, which impacts your risk of developing cancer.
Get adequate vitamin D: It may not be possible for you to get sufficient vitamin D naturally, but taking a supplement should help.