Each year during the month of February we celebrate National Cancer Prevention Month. This is important to highlight because it is determined that with the medical knowledge we have today, about half of all deaths in the United States resulting from cancer are preventable. Let’s take a look at a few lifestyle adjustments that you can make to stack the odds in your favor when it comes to avoiding cancer.
What if you were told that by making five lifestyle changes you could reduce the chances of being diagnosed with cancer by over 50%. It’s true and you can!
According to the Center for Disease Control, a link to Tobacco use is associated with 40% of all cancer cases diagnosed. The only good news if you use tobacco is that cessation at any age will reduce the odds of a cancer occurrence. It’s never too late to quit, so start now.
Excess body weight contributes to 7.8% of all new diagnosis. Thirty minutes of exercise daily will make a huge difference in both your physical and mental well-being. Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and antioxidants is key. Limit your intake of red meat to once a week and cut out processed foods as much as possible. Processed foods can be hard to identify and a new classification system labeled NOVA has emerged for clarification.
Eliminate alcohol consumption and take another 5.6% off your chances of being diagnosed with cancer. Not an option for you? Then avoid regular consumption. Regular alcohol consumption over time increases cancer risk according to the National Cancer Institute.
The most common form of cancer in the Unites States is skin cancer, and by far it is easily the most preventable form of cancer. As a survivor of stage II melanoma, I realize the importance of protecting my skin. Sunscreen, limiting your exposure to ultraviolet rays, and UPF clothing are all good ideas. Having a partner who constantly reminds you to cover up can be really helpful too!
Medical experts all agree that the single most effective tool they have in fighting cancer is early detection. The past couple years it has been difficult for patients to schedule screenings because of the stresses that COVID-19 has placed on our healthcare systems. Fortunately, restrictions are easing and the routine maintenance visits that we are accustomed to will resume as hospitals and staff resources normalize. Don’t hesitate, schedule your screening appointment today and get on the Prevent Path!