Lifestyle choices that can reduce your cancer risk
In its 2014 World Cancer Report, the World Health Organization stated that cancer is the leading cause of death across the globe, causing roughly 8.2 million deaths in 2012 alone. A generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body, cancer is characterized by the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries. These abnormal cells can then invade adjoining parts of the body and may even spread to other organs.
Pinpointing the precise cause of a particular instance of cancer is difficult, but researchers have linked certain lifestyle choices with higher incidences of cancer. While there’s no guarantee a person who makes only healthy lifestyle choices will live life cancer-free, making the right choices can greatly reduce a person’s risk of developing this potentially devastating disease. Avoid tobacco
Tobacco is bad for you and the people around you, according to various studies that have linked smoking to several forms of cancer. Such studies have discovered a link between tobacco and cancers of the lung, bladder, cervix, and kidney, while chewing tobacco has been linked to pancreatic cancer and cancer of the oral cavity. Secondhand smoke also can increase the cancer risk for those around you, including your children. Studies from the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the National Cancer Institute found that 69 of the toxic chemicals in secondhand smoke cause cancer. Eat smaller portions
High-calorie diets can increase your risk of being overweight or obese, which the NCI has linked with cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, colon and rectum, breast, and kidney, among others. When consuming alcohol, do so in moderation
If you like to consume alcohol, it’s best to do so only in moderation. The National Toxicology Program of the DHHS lists consumption of alcohol as a known human carcinogen, noting that the more alcohol a person drinks regularly over time the higher his or her risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer becomes. Alcohol consumption has been linked to head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer. Protect your skin from the sun and UV radiation
The American Cancer Society notes that excessive exposure to UV radiation from sunlight or tanning beds and lamps is a significant risk factor for skin cancer. Avoid the sun when UV rays are at their strongest, typically in midday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you must be outdoors during these times, stay in the shade and generously apply sunscreen, reapplying frequently. Tanning beds may seem like a safe alternative to natural sunlight, but such beds can be just as harmful.
Making certain healthy lifestyle choices may not guarantee you stay cancer-free, but such choices can greatly reduce your risk of developing various forms of cancer.
Applying and reapplying sunscreen is one way men, women and children can effectively reduce their risk for developing cancer.