Chances are, you or someone you know has battled cancer at some point in your lifetime. But while cancer can be scary, your risk of getting it can be greatly reduced. That’s because making healthy choices like eating well, staying active, and getting regular screenings can help reduce the risk, even if you’re predisposed.
Make healthy lifestyle choices.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, but it’s also preventable in many cases. Simple lifestyle changes such as wearing sunscreen when outside—even on cloudy days—and not going to tanning beds are proven to reduce the risk of cancer.
Smoking and tobacco use is a leading cause of many different types of cancers and affects nearly every organ in the body. By quitting smoking and ending your tobacco use, you are far more likely to live a cancer-free life. If you’re struggling to quit smoking, Hancock Health offers a free “Commit to Quit” course to help guide you through the process of ending the influence of tobacco in your life.
Frequent exercise can also lower your risk of cancer. Just 150 minutes of moderate exercise spread throughout the week is all you need to lower your risk. That’s just over 20 minutes a day.
Set the fries aside.
We aren’t saying you can never eat junk food, but a healthy diet has also been proven to reduce your risk of cancer. Limit your alcohol consumption and have a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Having a healthy body weight will also lower your risk of cancer—and having a healthy diet will go hand in hand with maintaining a healthy weight. You can still enjoy that burger, but maybe switch it out for a tasty and slightly healthier turkey burger to reduce the amount of red meat you consume, or eat the freshly prepared version rather than something processed and loaded with grease and fats.
It’s also important to limit your intake of processed foods as much as you can, and instead, opt for their fresh alternatives.
Get regular screenings.
Ultimately, it’s time to take control over your own health. It’s very important to know your body and listen to its signals. If you think something is wrong, it is always best to have a doctor check you out—and be safe rather than sorry.