Cancer is something that touches every person in one way or another. Whether you know someone with cancer, or you have it yourself, it is a disease that is far too prevalent around the globe. Did you know that more than 1.8 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2020 and 2021 looks to be on par or higher? The good news is that while cancer diagnoses are increasing, the death rate has slowly been decreasing since the 1990s. The rate of decline isn’t huge, but it’s still progress.
A big part of why the rate of deaths due to cancer is decreasing has to do with early detection, and people taking measures to reduce their risk of developing cancer in the first place. Here are some steps you can take.
Cut Out Smoking Immediately
One of the riskiest things you can do in terms of potentially developing cancer later in life is to take up smoking. Tobacco is tied to several cancers that include the pancreas, throat, mouth, lung, larynx, kidney, cervix and bladder. This includes the use of chewing tobacco. As a smoker, you are also putting those around you at risk thanks to second-hand smoke exposure.
Granted, it can be hard to stop smoking cold turkey, but if you’ve got the will, some treatments and techniques can make it easier. A good idea would be to speak to your primary care physician and get advice from them on the various quit-smoking aides.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Did you know that a healthy body weight also lowers your risk of a cancer diagnosis? It helps to reduce your risk of developing kidney, colon, breast, pancreatic and esophagus cancer. If you aren’t the workout type of person, it can be easier to choose activities that are fun and don’t feel like exercise. The goal should be to get moving and stay active. Here are some of the ways you can do just that:
- Ice skating
- In-line skating
- Joining a local sports team
To lose weight and keep it off, you need to aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. You also want to include a mixture of cardio and strength-building exercises.
Of course, your diet will also play a role in your weight. There’s no reason to try any of the fad diets; instead, keep it simple and stick to the basics. You want to include lots of healthy fresh vegetables, lean protein, fruits, dairy and grains. If you’re trying to lose weight, try cutting back on the calories you intake. You can use an app to help you track what you have consumed in a day.
Use Sun Protection Whenever You Are Outside
Sun protection is another way to prevent certain cancers from developing. Maybe you’re good about wearing sun protection in the summer but not as good in the winter months. The rule should be to apply sun protection every single day, regardless of the season, the weather, or what you plan on doing that day. Once it becomes a habit, you won’t even think about it.
Besides using sunscreen you can also wear a large-brimmed hat, wear sunglasses with UV protection, wear clothing with built-in sun protection, and cover exposed skin when out in the direct sunlight for prolonged periods.
Go for Regular Health Checks
Early detection not only helps to improve your cancer diagnosis, but it can also identify areas of concern so that hopefully it doesn’t lead to cancer. A whole body MRI scan is a great option and is available from providers such as Ezra, found at https://ezra.com/. Ezra’s body scan takes a close look at 13 of your organs in just under an hour. You’ll get an in-depth look at such things as your brain, thyroid, liver, bladder, pancreas, liver, lungs, ovaries and gallbladder to name a few. This screening tool can be a more effective screening tool than an ultrasound or CT scan on its own.
As for when the best time to schedule one of these health checks is, don’t wait – you want to do these checks regularly. The whole point is that you are embracing preventative measures, so you don’t want to wait until you feel unwell.
Cut Back on the Amount of Alcohol You Drink
Another substance that can lead to a higher risk of developing cancer is alcohol. At the very least, it’s wise to cut back on how much you consume. Experts agree that women can have one drink a day and men can have up to two. Any more than that and your level of risk increases.
If you believe that a cancer diagnosis is out of your control, it’s time to think again. By using tips such as these, you’ll be reducing your risk profile substantially.