Basic Cancer Prevention Tips Everyone Should Follow
Most of us know at least one person who has gotten the scary news that cancer is growing in their body and most of them are okay today, but still, the diagnosis is something no one ever wants to hear.
The good news is cancer is something we can work hard to not only treat but prevent before it even happens. There are proactive steps we can take in our lives to ensure that our bodies maintain optimal health and, in turn, decrease the risk of cancer. Cancer prevention advice is something we are continuously learning more about and none of them come with a 100% guaranteed result, but the following helpful tips are a great start to preventing cancer.
Eating a Healthy Diet
This first one is an obvious one, yet a common one that we all refuse to take as seriously as we should. When we load our bodies up with processed carbs and sweets (those delicious foods that fulfill our undeniable cravings) we may satiate our most tempting cravings, but we are suppressing our immune systems and, in effect, giving cancer a more convenient place to flourish. Eating healthy foods that aid in healthy immune system function is an easy way to help prevent cancer (and also fight off common sickness throughout the season) and something each one of us can do every day simply by making good choices when it comes to the things we consume.
What exactly is a healthy diet? Well, there are plenty of websites claiming that certain foods can cure and prevent cancer, but that’s not something we’ll get into today. The main thing you need to do in order to adopt a new healthy eating habit is reduce sugar and processed foods in your diet and load up on vegetables of all kinds, fruits and veggies. As noted, this is a great way to help prevent cancer, but also an amazing immune system booster to promote overall health.
It’s definitely hard to give up those “health” bars and chips, but it’s worth it if you want to live a long, healthy life. Sometimes we have to shift our mentality to thinking about the future, rather than the joys of the present in the moment.
Limit Sun Exposure
It’s a good idea for anyone, cancer preventing or not, to avoid too much contact with the sun, if you are spending a lot of time in the sun protect your skin with sunscreen. Skin cancer is one of the leading cancer types and can be drastically reduced by simply taking care of your skin and making sure to protect yourself from harmful UV exposure. If possible, remain in the shade, wear long sleeves or hats, and of always, avoid tanning beds. Take care of your skin and don’t forget your sunscreen even if you plan on a long road trip in the car. You’d be surprised how much of your skin gets sun exposure while driving.
Kick the Smoking Habit
Smoking is one of the obvious factors leading to cancer, but again, one of the most difficult for people to give up until it’s too late. If you want to take cancer prevention seriously, however, the nicotine habit needs to go. Using any type of tobacco is going to put you on a path towards cancer.
Some of the commonly diagnosed types of cancer diagnosed in those who smoke are lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidney cancers. Secondhand smoke is also problematic when it comes to cancer, so avoiding exposure as much as possible is the best thing you can do for yourself and if you’re a smoker, think about those around you and how you may be affecting their lives as well.
If you want to quit smoking but find it difficult, speak with your doctor about options. You wouldn’t be the first person to quit smoking. It feels impossible in the moment, but it’s very possible and extremely beneficial to your overall well-being. Definitely well worth the effort it takes to quit!
Keep up with an Exercise Routine
Another great thing for overall health and vitality is a consistent workout routine. You don’t have to do any crazy weight lifting or even join a gym to keep yourself healthy and strong. Just doing aerobic exercise at home can make a big difference. Of course getting yourself moving and lifting weights is definitely good for you as well, if you work at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine and you will find yourself much more energetic and able to tackle your tasks. Exercise can also help with depression, mood disorders, and overall lethargy. It’s a great way to keep your body healthy and strong which can really help with cancer prevention as well. Workout routines are difficult to get into at first, but once you create a routine you won’t want to stop. It will feel so amazing that you will wonder what took you so long to get started. Start with small goals and work yourself up to a nice 30 minute routine by the end. You can even start with someone as short as 5 minutes a day just to get yourself going.
Regular Medical Care and Check Ups
One would assume this would be common, but you’d be surprised how many people neglect yearly medical checkups. One of the best things you can do for yourself, however, when it comes to preventing cancer, is get yourself checked out once a year by a qualified physician. Sometimes cancer can create symptoms we fail to notice in the midst of our busy lifestyles, whereas a doctor may be more attune to a shift and able to point you in the right direction. Cancer is far easier to treat and cure if caught in the earliest stages, so even if you can’t prevent it altogether it is best to stop it in its tracks before it advances too far. This is why preventative medical care and screening tests are crucial to your health.
Colon cancer is another one that can be screened regularly (generally once you reach a certain age or have family history of colon cancer), but again, prevention starts with being proactive about your lifestyle, habits, and preventative care. As busy as your life can be, keep these things as a top priority.
If you neglect to take care of yourself now, you will regret it when you are standing in front of a doctor with the bad news you really don’t want to hear. Cancer is beatable, but not always. The best thing you can do for yourself is start now. Start developing healthy habits from eating to exercise to preventative care, and be sure to do any self-exams possible (i.e. breast self-exams). All of these things are great ideas and will improve your overall quality life, but all that said, it’s important to know that some things are beyond our control. So, try to reduce stress, enjoy life, and live as healthy as you can. Don’t prevent yourself from enjoying a cookie once in a while because you fear getting cancer, as this will just lead to controlling habits and fears that can increase stress. Do, however, make it a priority to see a qualified doctor at least once a year for screening and prevention.
Cancer screening and prevention is especially important for those with high risk of cancer, however, it’s ideal for each and every one of us to maintain healthy lifestyles. The healthier we are, the more we’ll enjoy the present moment and be able to live the best lives we can.