Cancer is frightening. It can be aggressive, there is no true cure, and it is expensive to treat. Genetics can make you more susceptible, but many cases of cancer are preventable. The following 5 ways to avoid getting cancer will help your body to stay healthy and cancer-free.
Many of the most common cancers are completely preventable, which is great news. The following tips can prevent cancer and keep you healthy.
1. Get Vaccinated
Many reproductive cancers of both men and women are caused by HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical, penile, and throat cancer. HPV can be difficult to treat and often targets the lining of the affected organs. It is preventable with an HPV vaccine.
HPV vaccines work best when given to someone before they are sexually active. However, some adults may benefit from the HPV vaccine if they have multiple partners, unprotected sex, or oral sex. The HPV vaccine is readily available, so be sure to discuss it with your doctor if you are interested in receiving the vaccine.
In addition, if you are at risk of developing hepatitis B infections or liver cancer, you may want to receive the hepatitis B vaccine, which can prevent liver cancer.
2. Stop Smoking
Cigarettes, marijuana, and vape all contribute to lung cancer, the most preventable highly prevalent form of cancer. Anything you burn and breath into your body can cause cancer.
It is rumored that switching from cigarettes to vape or marijuana reduces your lung cancer risks, but that isn’t true. Marijuana, although marketed as natural, produces many of the same toxins as cigarettes when burned. In addition, you hold the smoke in your lungs for longer, resulting in your lungs being exposed to the chemicals longer.
There are many medications, therapies, and products that can help you stop smoking. Many of them may be free or low-cost with your health insurance or a workplace cessation program. One of the best ways to avoid cancer is to take advantage of these programs and kick the smoking habit for good.
3. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
A BMI over 25, excessive alcohol consumption, eating excessive amounts of red meat, and not getting enough exercise increase your cancer risks. Not only will living a healthy lifestyle keep you feeling well and active, it also prevents cancer.
Nutrition and physical fitness ensure that your organs and immune system are operating at their best. This is important to both prevent cancer and treat it. If you are overweight and need help getting started, speak to your doctor and a dietician about how to reach your weight-loss goals and maintain that weight.
Alcohol is another lifestyle factor that plays a role in preventing cancer. Alcohol, even in modest amounts is known to increase the risk of several cancers. It is also loaded in empty calories and contributes to weight gain, another cancer risk. If you can avoid alcohol, it is best to do so. If you can’t, drink sparingly and in moderation.
4. Avoid Sun Exposure
Skin cancer is one of the most common and preventable cancers. We now know that any time you are exposed to sunlight or artificial UV lighting, it increases your risk of developing cancer drastically.
Almost all forms of skin cancer including melanoma, are caused by sun damage. Wear sunscreen daily and look for facial products containing sunscreen. Be sure to follow the instructions on your sunscreen product liberally.
As an alternative, avoid direct sunlight by wearing protective clothing, standing in the shade, and wearing a hat and sunglasses. These are all effective ways to avoid the damage that causes skin cancer.
5. Get Screened
If you are at risk of cancer, take advantage of screenings. Not only are there scans that can detect cancer before it is in the advanced stages so that it is easier to treat, but there are also genetic tests available if you may have a genetic risk factor.
Since some forms of cancer share symptoms with other illnesses, it is sometimes misdiagnosed. Ask your doctor which screenings you need and how often you should have them. If you have been misdiagnosed, you should contact a cancer misdiagnosis law firm to learn what types of options you have to be compensated for the time and treatment because a diagnosis was delayed.
If you have a family history of cancer, genetic screening can identify the heightened risk and help you take the steps to prevent it and identify it quickly. Speak to your doctor if you think this may be a good option for you.
The good news is that many forms of cancer are preventable. Living a healthy lifestyle, avoiding unnecessary risks, and reducing cancer-causing behaviors can greatly reduce your chances of getting cancer.