7 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

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About 1 out of 3 Americans will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. Many cancers cannot be avoided because they are caused by random mistakes in the genetic code that governs how are cells divide – a process medical scientists are still working to understand and control. However, there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all cancer deaths can be prevented through healthy choices, screening and vaccinations.

Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Cancer

1. Do not use tobacco: Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and is the leading cause of cancer and cancer deaths. Quitting is important for smokers of all ages. In addition, non-smokers should minimize their exposure to secondhand smoke.

2. Eat well: Eat a healthy diet with plenty of foods that are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. This includes whole-grain breads and cereals and at least 2-1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables each day. Limit butter, whole milk, fried foods, red meats and other foods that are high in fat.

3. Follow cancer screening guidelines: Some tests can help detect certain cancers early, when they are easiest to treat. At your annual check-ups, ask your doctor which cancer screening tests you may need.

4. Get moving: Include exercise in your weekly routine to control weight, reduce stress and decrease your risk for cancer.

5. Protect yourself from the sun: Limit your time in the sun and wear sunglasses. If you must spend prolonged periods of time in the sun, always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on hazy days.

6. Vaccinate to help protect against some cancers: Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a common virus that can be sexually transmitted and is linked to certain cancers. In particular, the HPV vaccine can help prevent the development of throat, tongue, cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal and penile cancers.

7. Limit alcohol consumption: Limiting your alcohol consumption may help prevent a number of cancers. If alcohol is consumed, men should not have more than 2 drinks a day, and women should not have more than 1 drink a day.

Related Links

At University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, our team of caregivers provides the most advanced forms of cancer care – from prevention, screening and diagnosis through treatment and survivorship. Our disease-focused teams design personalized cancer treatment plans for every patient who entrusts their care to us. Learn more about cancer care at UH Seidman Cancer Center. Questions? Call the University Hospitals Cancer Information Service Line at 1-800-641-2422.

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