Cancer is one of the most feared diseases globally and claims thousands of lives each year. Unfortunately, many different types of cancer can strike anyone, regardless of their gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Thankfully, there are many risk factors that you can control to minimize, if not eliminate, your risk. The following are a few cancer prevention tips that you can use to reduce your risk.
Protect Against UV Radiation
Approximately 80% of all skin cancer cases are caused by overexposure to UV radiation, which arrives in the form of tanning beds and lamps and, most worryingly, the sun itself. Therefore, it is mainly for individuals with fair skin or otherwise who may have a genetic predisposition to skin cancer to protect themselves. Sunblock offers excellent protection from the harmful effects of the sun, but, as a general rule, do not stay out in the sun longer than you need to, even when you're using sunblock to keep from exposing yourself to direct sunlight. If you think you will be out in the sun for an extended period, consider using a hat and appropriate clothing that helps prevent harsh exposure.
Take Care Of Your Lungs
Lung cancer has many forms, most of them deadly. Whether one thinks of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), or the rarer but even more dangerous Mesothelioma (read more), all sorts of lung cancer can be fatal. Tragically, lung cancer is estimated to have taken the lives of 1,796,144 people worldwide in 2020. The leading reason for lung cancer is polluted inhalation, especially cigarette smoking. But whether one regularly smokes tobacco or works in a place with exposure to materials such as asbestos, polluted inhalation has become an everyday reality in the modern era, primarily because of petrol-run vehicles. While the masses might be unable to change the international transportation infrastructure, they can try their best to change their lifestyles on a micro level, such as cutting out smoking and vaping, avoiding extremely polluted places, and avoiding materials that might harm their lungs.
Heavy or regular consumption of saturated fat and red meat is linked to an increase in the risk of colon cancer or a further aggressive form of prostate cancer. A steady diet rich in plant-based products, balanced across the board, will undoubtedly prove beneficial to keep off cancerous risks and different issues, such as obesity, which is known to increase the risk of 13 types of cancers.
As regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of many other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and more, it's no surprise that exercise is also linked to a reduction in cancer risk, especially breast and reproductive organ cancers in females. Not to say that every person should commit to a lifetime of athleticism, but allotting 15-30 minutes per day for exercise doesn't seem too extreme. However, even if you get little or no exercise regularly, there are certain things that you can do to maximize your active time to compensate for your lack of physical activity. For example, you could take the stairs instead of the elevator and perform other similar activities to maximize your time while making the most out of your little physical activity. Also, exercise in moderation is okay too. It could be as simple as taking a few brief walks throughout your day or jogging around while you wait to have your order prepped.
Chronic stress is well known for its detrimental effects on the body and mind. As it is well documented that chronic stress can lead to mental health issues and substance abuse, there are fewer examined but still prevalent effects of chronic stress on one's physical health. But stress can also prove fatal as a risk poser for cancerous tendencies. Stress is known to alter hormone levels in the body and create imbalances that leave an individual prone to cancerous growth. In addition, it leads to unhealthy behaviors such as stress eating, drinking, and smoking, among other habits, all of which pose serious risks.
Cancer prevention often bisects with vaccination against other infections. Two primary vaccinations that will protect you are Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of liver cancer. The vaccine is especially recommended for high-risk adults, such as sexually active men involved with men, people who aren't in a monogamous relationship and are sexually active, people with STDs, those who use intravenous injections, or those engaged in the public care sector who might be exposed to bodily fluids. HPV, also known as Human papillomavirus, is a virus that targets the cervix and genital areas, which often develops into cancer, alongside squamous cell cancers at the back of the neck and the head. The HPV vaccine is administered to children aged 11-12 years, while for people aged 9-45 years, the Gardasil vaccine is recommended.
Invest In Regular Medical Care
Cancer can often occur in the most unexpected places, and for those who don't receive regular checkups and cancer screenings could lead to a less than ideal outcome. However, just like in many other areas of life, life doesn't rely on perfection. For example, self-examinations with a mirror or visiting your doctor are both legitimate ways to catch any potential signs of cancer early on if you choose to do so. Manuals for breast examination are readily available online for free, so self-examination shouldn't be an issue. As for professional checkups, it is recommended that you get screened once a year.
While some forms of cancer can still be an issue of one's genetics, a wide variety of cancers can be prevented through a multitude of practices. And while none of these habits in isolation guarantee absolute protection from cancer, nor guarantee removal of the possibility, it should be realized that the chances go down dramatically when one stacks as many positive habits onto their lifestyle. When combined with other healthy practices and sound medical care, a cancer-free body may not seem like too big a stretch after all.