What can I do to prevent cancer?

jaiedocere, general health

What can I do to prevent cancer?

Almost everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with or died from cancer. Here are some things every one should do to prevent cancer.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths. It is linked to the development of lung cancer and also mouth, nose, throat, stomach, liver, intestines, bladder and cervix. Tobacco smoke is directly carcinogenic and it is also an irritant and inflammatory, initiating a cascade response that leads to cancer.

Obtain and maintain a
healthy weight

Obesity is associated with 14-20% of cancer deaths. Being overweight decreases the body’s ability to respond appropriately to stress, infection and inflammation; which creates an environment in which cancer is more likely to develop. Being overweight is directly linked to breast, colon, uterus, colon and throat cancer, and indirectly linked to many others.

Be physically active

In addition to helping to maintain a healthy weight, being active reduces inflammation, stimulates the immune system and improves mood and self-esteem. The American Cancer Society recommends at least thirty minutes of moderate vigorous activity at least five days a week.

Improve your diet

Eat more vegetables and fruits, especially colorful ones, for their varied nutrients and antioxidants. The American Cancer Society recommends eating five servings every day. Eat less added sugar, preservatives, artificial colors, soft drinks, refined carbohydrates, transaturated fats and smoked and processed meats. While you are improving your diet, consider taking a high quality multivitamin to supplement your nutrient intake.

Limit alcohol

Though moderate alcohol intake is associated with improved heart health, alcohol is linked to certain types of cancers including mouth, throat, liver and breast. Work with your health care provider to determine the appropriate amount of alcohol for you.

Maintain optimal health

Though moderate alcohol intake is associated with improved heart health, alcohol is linked to certain types of cancers including mouth, throat, liver and breast. Work with your health care provider to determine the appropriate amount of alcohol for you.

Reduce sun exposure

Over one million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, and while most are treatable, there are over 8,000 deaths each year from melanoma (the most aggressive form of skin cancer). Intense sun exposure, blistering burns and tanning beds are more dangerous, but everyone should take precautions to limit their exposure to sun. The best way to do this is to avoid being in the sun in the middle of the day and to wear protective clothing.

Get regular screening
check-ups and exams

Catching a cancer early is not technically preventing it from developing, but it is preventing it from growing and spreading. Talk to your doctor about what exams you need.

Consider specific supplements

There are many dietary supplements that can reduce risk of cancer. Because the quality of supplements and individual requirements vary greatly it is best to consult with a health care provider.

Special Thanks

This article was compiled with information from:

  • Alternative Medicine Magazine’s Definitive Guide to Cancer, Second Edition by Alschuler and Gazella
  • American Cancer Society
  • UpToDate
  • How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine by Murray, Birdsall, Pizzorno and Reilly

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