If you’re concerned about cancer, you’ll be comforted to know that simple lifestyle choices can make a difference. In fact, we can help prevent at least one third of common cancers by making gradual changes to our diets and daily routines.
Here are some small but important steps you can take to lower your risk for cancer — and get on the path to better health and a longer life.
Eat more fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colours to provide different nutrients.
A healthy body weight to lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-calorie foods, especially those that contain refined sugars and animal fat.
Physical activity counts when it comes to cancer prevention.
Even these modest activities get your heart pumping, lower your stress and strengthen your muscles, and can reduce your risk of cancer.
Skin cancer is one of the most common and preventable types of cancer. The best way to protect yourself is to reduce your exposure to the sun or other sources of UV rays:
Medical experts highly recommend we don’t smoke and drink less to prevent cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer, including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney, while chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas.
Even if you don't use tobacco, exposure to second-hand smoke can still raise your risk of lung cancer. Live a smoke-free lifestyle and limit your consumption of alcohol to reduce your cancer risk.
Early cancer detection can lead to a healthy outcome. You can take charge of your health by knowing signs and symptoms of cancers to watch for and when to be screened for certain cancers to make decisions that are best for you:
These are guidelines to follow only, not guarantees you won’t get or beat cancer. However, the better informed you are the healthier you will be — if you know the signs for cancer, and when to take a screening test, you can help stop cancer in its tracks.
Learn more about cancer prevention and detection from the Canadian Cancer Society and World Cancer Day, which on February 4 launched a three-year campaign to “close the care gap” on cancer by uniting voices for change and mobilizing action.
Sources: Canadian Cancer Society, World Cancer Day, Mayo Clinic