Cancer doctors and cancer specialists universally agree that making good lifestyle choices is the best form of cancer prevention. The cancer specialists at CHI St. Joseph Health Cancer Center encourage you to make good lifestyle choices, according to the advice of the Cancer Prevention Foundation.
Despite conflicting reports about what does and does not cause cancer, the CPF offers seven foundational steps for preventing cancer. These seven lifestyle changes can help tremendously.
Using any type of tobacco puts you at a much higher risk of cancer. Smoking has been linked to several types of cancer, including lung, bladder, cervix and kidney. Even if you don't personally smoke tobacco, being exposed to secondhand smoke can increase your risk of lung cancer. Chewing tobacco has been linked to tongue, gum, and pancreatic cancer.
Not using tobacco is one of the best actions you can take for your health, including cancer prevention. If you have decided to quit tobacco use, your doctor or cancer specialist can refer you to products and other strategies to help you quit.
Making healthy selections at the grocery store and for your meals can go a long way toward improving your health and meeting your goal of cancer prevention. Though research findings differ, no informed cancer specialist would argue against the benefits of a healthy diet. Here are some guidelines for making good choices:
Maintaining a healthy weight is thought to lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.
Physical activity benefits your health in multiple ways. In addition to helping you control your weight, staying physically active is believed to lower the risk of several cancers, including breast and colon cancer.
For maximum health benefits, adults should strive to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Or course, combinations of vigorous and moderate aerobic activities is also good. It’s best to incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine —more being better. Cancer prevention and good health go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to physical activity.
Skin cancer is common, yet highly preventable.
Cancer prevention should often include protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about recommendations for you when it comes to immunization against:
Self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers, at recommended intervals, can go a long way toward increasing your chances of discovering cancer early, and improving your chances of survival and/or minimally-invasive treatment. Cancers that can and should be screened for include cancer of the skin, colon, prostate, cervix and breast. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening and self-exam schedule for you.
If you will take cancer prevention seriously, and follow the above advice, your risk of developing cancer should be dramatically reduced. In addition to having higher energy levels, plus looking and feeling better, your overall health will improve—all benefits that are well worth the effort and discipline required!