Tips on Reducing Your Cancer Risk
In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, this article is dedicated to this important campaign, which seeks to help the millions of women and families who are affected by breast cancer each year.
While there’s not a single thing you can do to ensure that you will never develop some type of cancer, there are things that you can do to reduce your risk. Everybody is at risk to developing cancer at some point of their life. Risk is an action that could lead to harm, but living is a risky business! Here are just a few things that you can consider to reduce your cancer risk:
According to James Mulshine, M.D., professor of internal medicine and associate provost for Research at Rusk University Medical Centre, 1 out of every 2 deaths before the age of 65 can be attributed to smoking. The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) says that any type of tobacco puts a person on a collision course with cancer. There are so many health benefits to quitting smoking that this remains one of the biggest pro-health changes that any person can make in their life.
Invest in Cancer Screening
Annual cancer screening is a must, especially for adult women. Pap smears and mammograms can pick up cancer risks long before a seemingly benign element turns into a malignant tumour. For men, there are prostate exams that can also pick up cellular changes before they become cancerous. If you reach the age of 50, then it is also time to talk to your doctor about colon cancer screenings. Keep in mind that many cancers are treatable and curable if they are detected early.
There isn’t a specific type of food or health food items that can guarantee cancer prevention, but making healthy food choices and checking food labels may help reduce your risk for cancer, says CANSA.
Not only does eating healthily help you maintain a healthy weight (which can also reduce your cancer risk), but it will have a big impact on your sense of wellbeing and your mood – all reasons to choose good meal options. Cut out processed foods where you can, eat healthy fats instead of saturated fats, cut back on the sugar and don’t overdo the alcohol.
Stay Active and Connected with Your Body
Adults who participate in any type of physical activity have health benefits. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week. Be sure to wear sunscreen if you are exercising outdoors. In today’s environment, most people spend a lot of time sitting, lying down, watching television, and working in front of a computer. Make physical activity a priority and stay in tune with your body. Book an appointment if you notice any abnormalities and do regular self-inspections.
De-Stress and Balance Your Needs
Part and parcel of having a balanced lifestyle is to invest in de-stressing activities. If you are balancing career, personal, and family obligations on a daily basis, then it’s vital that you invest in activities that help you kick back and relax. Mindfulness and awareness is a big contributor to reducing the stress hormone cortisol in your body.
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