There are so many stories out there reporting on how to fight cancer—what to do more of and what to avoid. The ideas on how to prevent cancer are always evolving, but research has documented that lifestyle choices play a role in your risk for developing certain types of cancer. To lower your risk for developing cancer, follow these tips:
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco. Tobacco use has been linked to lung, mouth, pancreatic and other cancers.
- Eat a healthy diet. Indulge in plenty of fruits and vegetables, limit fat and drink alcohol in moderation.
- Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Avoid the midday sun and stay in shade; and when you can’t, always remember to use sunscreen.
- Avoid tanning beds.
- Get immunized against diseases like Hepatitis B (linked to increased chances for liver cancer) and HPV (linked to increased chances for cervical and genital cancer).
- Avoid risky behaviors like unprotected sex and sharing needles. These behaviors can lead to infections that, in turn, could increase your risk for cancer.
- Get regular medical check-ups.
- Know your family’s cancer history and your risks factors.
Perhaps most important of all, pay attention to your body and any pain or unusual symptoms. And talk with your doctor about screenings for cancer. Regular screenings lead to early detection, which is key to beating cancer. Getting regular mammograms, breast exams, colonoscopies, Pap test, skin checks, and HPV tests are crucial to finding cancer early. The earlier you find cancer, the less chance it has to spread and grow and the better chance you have of beating it.
SSM Health St. Mary’s Cancer Center at JCMG provides you with a central location for comprehensive cancer care services
that are designed to meet your individual needs. They bring together top cancer physicians, support staff and state-of-the-art technology to ensure a seamless, individualized cancer treatment plan.