Cancer is the number two cause of death globally and major preventable disease. Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes and screening options available that can reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Healthy Diet and Exercise as Prevention
Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limiting red meat, can reduce the risk of cancer. Additionally, different types of physical exercise for at least 2 1/2 hours a week are recommended to reduce the risk of cancer.
Preserving Your Reproductive Health
For those at a higher risk of cancer, preserving your reproductive health can eliminate a major risk. Women are encouraged to go to women’s health clinics and get routine Pap tests to check for cervical cancer. Women over 40 should also get a Mammogram every two years. Men should get themselves checked for prostate cancer as well.
Other Cancer Prevention
Other cancer prevention methods may include:
- Quit smoking – This is the single best lifestyle change you can make to reduce your risk of cancer.
- Limit sunlight exposure – When exposed to the sun, use sunscreen and avoid excessive sunburns.
- Get vaccinated – Hepatitis B and HPV are viruses that can raise the risk of developing cancer.
- Test for radon – Radon is a naturally occuring gas that is found in many homes and can cause cancer.
It is important to get screened for specific types of cancer regularly as it can help catch any cancer in its early stages. Different screening tests available include:
- Breast Cancer: Mammography for women over 40
- Colorectal Cancer: Colonoscopy or Fecal Occult Blood test
- Cervical Cancer: Pap Test or HPV DNA test
- Prostate Cancer: Digital Rectal Exam or Prostate-Specific Antigen test
- Lung Cancer: Low-Dose CT Scan for smokers
Cancer Prevention Tips
To prevent cancer, it is important to make lifestyle changes and get regularly screened. Eating a healthy diet and getting physical activity can help reduce the risk of cancer. Additionally, getting vaccinated, especially against viruses like HPV, can help reduce the risk of cancer. Finally, make sure to get regularly screened for specific types of cancer like breast, colorectal, cervical, and prostate cancer.
By making lifestyle changes, getting vaccinated, and undergoing regular screenings, it is possible to reduce the risk of cancer. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the better chance of survival. Working with a doctor to create a cancer prevention plan can help reduce the risk of developing cancer and help with early detection.