The factors that fall into this category are the ones you have the most control over. By following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Don’t use tobacco products:
Smoking and using smokeless tobacco are directly linked to many kinds of cancer.
- If you don’t smoke, never start.
- If you do smoke, quit. The chances of getting lung cancer gradually decrease once you stop smoking.
- Avoid breathing second-hand smoke, which increases your risk for heart and lung diseases, including cancer.
Avoid harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays:
UV radiation from the sun the main cause of skin cancer.
- Avoid being in the sun when ultraviolet rays are strongest. During the summer, that is from about 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A general rule is to avoid the sun when your shadow is shorter than you are.
- Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. You want to use one that blocks UVA and UVB rays. Wear protective clothing to help block the sun’s rays
Maintain a healthy diet:
Research points to a link between a high-fat diet and certain cancers, such as cancer of the breast, colon, uterus and prostate. The good news is studies suggest that foods containing fibre and certain nutrients help protect against some cancers.
- Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. Include lean meat and low-fat dairy products in your diet.
- Don’t eat a lot of fat.
- Stay at a healthy weight.
- Most days, include in your routine 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity.
Drinking large amounts of alcohol increases your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus (food pipe) and larynx (voice box). If you smoke and drink, you are at especially high risk of getting these cancers. Alcohol also can damage your liver and increase your risk of liver cancer.
Exposure to large doses of radiation can increase your cancer risk. X-rays used for diagnosis expose you to very little radiation, and the benefits nearly always outweigh the risks.
- Talk with your doctor or dentist about the need for each X-ray.
- Ask about the use of shields to protect other parts of your body.