Cancer prevention is possible and even easy; here are a few tips on lifestyle changes and screening that could save lives.
Wondering how you can protect yourself and your family from the risk of cancer? As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention……”
Here are some tips from Dr. Anne McTiernan, a cancer prevention researcher at the Public Healthy Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, as well as from other leading sources in cancer prevention, such as the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Avoid smoking- anything. Research shows that smoking tobacco, herbs, cloves, or even marijuana increases your risk of lung cancer. If you must ingest nicotine or other herbal substances, such as medical marijuana, try vaporizing or edibles instead.
- Maintain a healthy weight. A BMI of 25 and under is considered normal and within healthy range. Nutritional, whole foods are best; vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, as well as farm-fed, organic meats that are not processed or full of antibiotics or preservatives. Sugary drinks and artificial sweeteners should be avoided, with the exception of natural substitutes such as stevia.
- Stay away from unnecessary radiation scans such as X-ray or CT. Likewise, skip hormone replacement therapy for menopause, and consider preventative vaccines such as those for HPV or Hepatitis B.
- If you have a baby, elect to breast feed and do so for more than six months.
- Have your home tested for radon and, if necessary, install a radon mitigation system to keep your levels below 4 pCi/L, as recommended for safety by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Radon gas is odorless, tasteless and invisible; but studies show that it’s the # 2 leading cause of lung cancer, right behind smoking, at nearly 20,0000 deaths per year. A radon reduction system is easy and affordable to install and can give you peace of mind.
- Understand your risk. Get screened for cancer and check your family medical history. There are a number of medical prevention methods- including surgery- available for those at an increased risk. Screening can detect cancer early, or even discover pre-cancerous growths. Screening is readily available for those at risk of those at risk of lung cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and skin cancer among others.
Cancer deaths are on the decline and prevention, as well as early detection, are a huge part of that. Through lifestyle changes, radon reduction, and screening, you can protect yourself and your family.