Everyone is concerned about cancer. We all worry about prevention. We can take charge of our lives by making great changes by living healthy and regular screening.
There are many reports released every day regarding preventing cancer. There are cases where a prevention tip is recommended by one person and then entirely contradicted by another.
Even though cancer diagnoses have increased over the years, we do not need to be afraid. There are many things we can do to reduce the risks associated with cancer development.
Things that increase the risk of cancer
According to research, it has been noted that family history, hormones, and age can increase the risks of getting cancer. If there is a history of cancer in your family, you are more likely to get a diagnosis than others. There are also conditions such as ulcerative colitis that increase the risks of developing cancer. It is very important to care for yourself to ensure that your body works the right way. These factors cannot be controlled at all.
There are lifestyle factors, as well. These are things you can control and may include diet and exercise. By adopting healthier habits, we can reduce cancer risks significantly.
What you ought to know is that prevention is evolving. However, we can all agree that our probability of getting cancer increase depending on our choices as far as lifestyle is concerned.
Some tips to consider
There are some prevention tips that everyone needs to put into consideration. They include:
- Tobacco use
You shouldn’t use tobacco. Using tobacco in any form puts you at risk of developing cancer. Smoking is linked to different forms of cancer. This includes lung, mouth, pancreas, cervix, kidney, bladder, throat, and larynx cancer. Chewing of tobacco is linked to different cancers, such as pancreas cancer and oral cavity cancer.
If you don’t use tobacco, you could still be exposed to second-hand smoke, which increases the chances of getting lung cancer.
Because of the risk associated with tobacco and its association with cancer, you should stop tobacco use or avoid using it even if it is second-hand smoke. This is very important in preventing cancer. If you have issues, quitting tobacco, speak to a doctor for further guidance on the same.
- Healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is recommended for not only cancer protection, but general health as well. Making your health selections when you are getting groceries does not guarantee that cancer will be prevented entirely. However, there is a chance that the possibility of developing cancer will be significantly reduced.
Some of the guidelines you need to consider include:
- Eating lots of veggies and fruits: Your diet needs to be based on fruits and vegetables. You should also consider eating food from different plant sources like beans and whole grains.
- Do not get obese: you need to eat lean and light foods that have a low-calorie count. Avoid refined sugars as well as fat emanating from different animal sources.
- If you have to drink alcohol, ensure it is done in moderation. There are different cancer types like liver, kidney, lung, colon, and breast cancer that have a higher chance of developing when you drink regularly. Drinking too much also increases the chances of cancer
- Processed meats should be limited as much as possible. The possibility of getting some kinds of cancers is increased when you take a lot of processed meat.
Also, on a diet, there is the Mediterranean diet, which is usually supplemented using extra virgin oil and then mixed with nuts. This kind of diet, when taken by women, reduces the chances of developing breast cancer. Mediterranean diet usually focuses on foods that are plant-based like vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. The people who embrace this kind of diet, select healthy fats such as olive oil instead of butter. They also choose fish in place of red meat.
- Physical activity and weight
In this world, we are currently living in, maintaining the ideal weight and being physically active is very important. When we maintain a healthy weight, we lower the chances of getting some cancer types such as kidney, breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancer.
It is very important to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. You need to be active physically. Physical activity helps control weight and lowers the risk of developing colon cancer and breast cancer.
As an adult, you need to be physically active, and there are numerous health benefits that you can achieve from this. If you want the best health benefits, try getting 150 minutes every week of aerobics, even if they are moderate ones. You can also go for vigorous aerobics for 75 minutes every week. Combining vigorous and tolerable activity can also work to your advantage, so do not shy away from that. Generally, try having some thirty minutes of some physical activity every day. When it is possible to do more, that is even better.
- Sun protection
Skin cancer is common. It also happens to be a cancer that can be prevented more easily than others can. You should:
- Stay out of the midday sun. From 10 am and 4 pm, do not be anywhere under the sun. These are times when the rays of the sun tend to be strongest.
- Shaded areas should be the best to be in. If you have to be under the sun, consider a brimmed hat and sunglasses as they can offer great protection.
- Stay covered. It is important to cover as much skin as you possibly can. Consider wearing clothes that are tightly woven but loose-fitting. Cover your skin as much as you can. Go for dark or bright colors because they reflect ultraviolet radiation more than bleached cotton and pastels.
- When applying sunscreen, do it generously. You should consider getting a broad-spectrum sunscreen. The best sunscreen has an SPF of around 30, even when it is cloudy outside. You should reapply sunscreen every two hours. If you are sweating or swimming, then you will need more sunscreen.
- Stay away from sunlamps and tanning beds. These can cause as much damage as natural light.
Skin cancer is common, but you may have a better treatment chance when you are diagnosed early. If you see any unusual changes on your skin, contact your doctor immediately.
When you want to prevent cancer, then consider protecting yourself from some viral infections. It is important to learn more about vaccinations. You can speak to your doctor about different options. Some important vaccinations include:
- Hepatitis B: this one increases the chances of getting liver cancer. Adults who are not in a monogamous union, but are active sexually are considered high risk and should get the vaccination. It is also important for people with any STIs or those using intravenous drugs. Health care workers, public safety workers, and men in same-sex relationships should get the vaccine.
- HPV vaccine: HPV means human papillomavirus, and it is transmitted sexually. This can lead to genital cancers such as cervical cancer. It can also lead to squamous cell cancers of the neck and head. This vaccine is highly recommended for boys and girls around 11 or 12 years.
- Risky behavior
You need to avoid some risky behaviors that could cause infections that could increase cancer chances.
- Safe sex: you should practice safe sex. You should also limit the number of partners and use a condom when having intercourse. Having many sexual partners is a risk because you can contract many infections like HPV or HIV. People with AIDS or HIV have a greater risk of developing cancer of the lung, liver, and anus. As for HPV, the association is mostly with cervical cancer. However, there is also a risk of getting cancer of the vagina, vulva, throat, penis, and throat.
- Avoid sharing needles: when you share needles, you can get infections like hepatitis C and HIV. These increases cancer risks. If you are dealing with addiction issues, get medical help as soon as possible.
- Medical care
It is important to get medical care regularly. You should do self-examination regularly and also screen for cancer as often as recommended. Such screening can be done for breast, cervix, colon, and breast cancer. Screening can help discover cancer at an early stage, which may mean a better chance of recovery.
- Caffeine fix
Consuming caffeine regularly can lower the risk of getting some types of cancer. This is because tea and coffee have antioxidants and nutrients that are needed for a healthier life. You can choose tea or coffee instead of artificially sweetened sodas and other drinks. Such drinks are not good for health.
There are grim statistics associated with cancer. The chances of developing different forms of malignancy in one’s lifetime are high. However, understanding cancer cell biology is not easy, but a lot of progress has been made so far. This has improved diagnosis and treatment.
Some things can be done to protect oneself, such as screening and being alert for symptoms. The changes and issues you should stay alert to include:
- Change in bladder and bowel habits
- A sore, which does not heal
- Unusual discharge or bleeding
- Thickening or a lump/s in different parts of the body such as breasts
- Indigestion of issues with swallowing
- Obvious changes in moles or warts
- Nagging hoarseness or cough
While some of the symptoms may have other causes, it is always good to seek a doctor’s opinion.