February is National Cancer Prevention Month, so we wanted to bring you some cancer prevention tips. Given cancer’s prevalence in society, if you or a loved one hasn’t faced it, you almost certainly know someone else close who has been affected. As scary and sometimes mysterious as cancer can be, the scientific community has established consensus on some measures each of us can take to limit our chances of developing cancer. Keep reading for five cancer prevention tips that you can implement in your life!
Eat Healthy Foods
Regularly consuming large quantities of fat and sugar is demonstrably bad for your health and can indirectly increase your chances of developing cancer. Be sure to moderate your consumption of things like soda, fast food, and processed foods. Numerous studies have also demonstrated a possible link between red-meat consumption and a variety of cancers. Overall, increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, and other whole foods seems to be the best way to go. Similarly, doctors recommended limiting alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks per day.
If you currently smoke, don’t just accept that you’re doomed to face cancer in your future. Some damage may have been done, but stopping smoking will absolutely be beneficial to your health. Each additional cigarette smoked amplifies your cancer risk, and quitting right now will stop this risk from getting higher and higher. Here are some helpful resources if you’re looking to break the habit.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Some cancer prevention tips are pretty easy to apply! Using sunblock when you’re outdoors and staying in the shade when possible can be powerful ways to cut your risk. It’s also recommended to avoid indoor tanning, as this directly emits harmful UV rays. When outdoors, wearing hats, sunglasses, and clothing that shields your limbs from the sun is helpful. Since we’re out in the sun so often, we can underestimate the risk of skin cancer, but in reality, it’s the most common form of cancer in the United States.
Maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to help minimize your risk of getting cancer. Aim to be physically active for at least a half hour each day. Along with eating a healthy diet, this will help to keep the pounds off. Even aside from weight loss, exercise has been proven to diminish the odds of developing multiple types of cancer.
Avoid Harmful Compounds/Chemicals
Though some people may not know exactly what radon is, this radioactive gas ranks second among causes of lung cancer deaths. Found relatively often in homes (see this map that highlights its prevalence by state), radon can be detected by kits that can be purchased cheaply. Find out if your home has elevated levels so you can take any necessary actions to reduce them. Many people may encounter other harmful substances and chemicals through the course of their career. It’s important to do whatever possible to shield yourself from these compounds, such as wearing the proper protective gear.