Preventing Cancer

Here are some ways you can prevent cancer and feel better everyday. 

Get all preventive screenings recommended by your healthcare provider – Finding “pre-cancerous” conditions that can lead to cancer,  or finding cancer early when it is most treatable, is your best defense. Check the specific cancer screening pages on this website for details about the types of screening tests that may be recommended for you and how you can pay for them.

Stay physically active – Get out of that chair and get your body moving!  All types of activity count: from gardening, to taking a dance class, to kayaking. Even something as simple as walking is a great way to get yourself moving. On nice days, park a distance from the entrance so you can enjoy the sunshine and be active when you go to work, worship, or run errands. Schedule time in your busy life for active play with friends and family.

Quit smoking –  The use of cigarettes and other tobacco products, as well as exposure to second-hand smoke, are linked to many forms of cancer. According to the CDC, if no one used tobacco, one-third of all cancer deaths in the United States would not happen. If you smoke, you can cut your cancer risk right now by quitting.  Get help here.

Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption – Overuse of alcohol doesn’t just harm your liver. It can lead to cancers of the mouth, throat, colon, and other parts of the body. People who use alcohol should drink in moderation, and it’s recommended that people who don’t drink at all should not start. Find a non-alcoholic beverage that makes you happy AND keeps you healthy.

  • Maintain a healthy weight – According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, a healthy eating plan:
  • emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk products
  • includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • is low in added sugars, salt, and saturated fats

Cutting calories doesn’t necessarily mean eating less food, it means eating food that is better for you.  If “healthy eating” makes you think about the foods you can’t have, try refocusing on all the new foods you can eat.

Practice safe sex – Many cancers have been linked to non-safe sexual behaviors. Limit your number of sexual partners and use condoms.

Avoid environmental risk factors –  In addition to sun exposure and environmental pollutants, exposure to ionizing radiation may also be a risk factor for cancer. Although environmental pollution has been a source of great public concern for decades, more research is needed about environmental exposures at the community level. Click here for more information.