February 5, 2018
Experts say as much as half of all cancer might be preventable. Learn 7 steps you can take that might help lower your cancer risk.
Cancer has touched most of our lives in same manner, whether it is a personal diagnosis with the disease or watching a loved one battle it. While many of us feel powerless to prevent this disease, experts say you can lower your cancer risk. Researchers believe as much as 50% of all cancers can be prevented with positive lifestyle choices.
In honor of National Cancer Month, we share 7 steps you can take to lower your cancer risk.
7 Steps to Lower Your Cancer Risk
1. Healthy diet: What you eat can lower or raise your risk for many types of cancer ranging from cancer of the colon to breast, kidney, lung, and liver cancer. A plant-based diet rich with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans is generally believed to be best. Limiting your intake of processed meats also helps.
2. Physical fitness: As most of us already know, exercise plays an important role in aging well. It helps prevent disease, maintain flexibility and strength, and boost the spirit. If you aren’t sure what types of physical fitness activities are best for you or how much exercise you need each day, talk with your physician. They can help you set realistic goals that you can safely achieve.
3. Healthy weight: Obesity is linked to a variety of health concerns such as diabetes, depression, and heart disease. It also exacerbates the pain of arthritis. When it comes to cancer, obesity is often found in people who are diagnosed with cancer of the breast, colon, rectum, kidney, and pancreas.
4. Physician partner: While it’s not a good idea to do, young adults don’t always take time to find a primary care physician they get to know and trust. As we grow older, however, this partnership between physician and patient becomes vital. Your physician can help you identify potential risk factors for illness or disease based on your lifestyle, personal history, and family medical history. The doctor can also keep you on track with routine screenings important at every stage in life. It helps them intervene early and prevent small concerns from becoming life-threatening health problems.
5. Avoid tobacco: This is one of the single best steps you can take to lower your risk of cancer. Tobacco is directly linked to cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidney. So if you smoke, find a smoking cessation program to help you stop. Avoid being around secondhand smoke. Experts say it’s just as deadly as smoking over the long term. Smokeless tobaccos are also linked to different types of cancer including in the mouth and pancreas.
6. Sun safety: Many of us enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. It lifts the spirits and boosts the mood, especially for those who live in colder climates where they are stuck inside much of the winter. But exposure to ultraviolet radiation can lead to skin damage and skin cancer so it’s important to practice good sun safety. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 when you are outside or riding in a car. Keep a hat on hand to wear while gardening or enjoying other outdoor activities.
7. Limit alcohol consumption: A glass of wine can be a nice way to end an evening with friends or catch up with loved ones on a wintery afternoon. Consuming too much alcohol, however, can increase your risk for cancer. Excessive use of alcohol can raise your risk of developing cancer, specifically cancer of the throat, liver, breast, mouth, and esophagus.
Live a Healthy Life at Legacy Senior Living
At Legacy Senior Living, we empower residents to live their best life and develop a genuine sense of well-being. Our Signature Programs are designed to promote a better quality of life for older adults whether they are active and independent or in need of memory care support for dementia.
We invite you to schedule a private visit to the Legacy community nearest you to learn more!