Research has shown that your lifestyle choices can influence your risk of developing cancer. Making healthy choices is the key to lowering your risk of cancer and other preventable diseases and health conditions. You can take control of your health by implementing these six healthy behaviors:
6 healthy behaviors to lower your risk of cancer:
- Stay up to date on preventive cancer screenings - Many preventive screening tests can help detect various cancers. Preventive screening test recommendations vary depending on your sex and age. Staying up to date on your preventative screening tests is vital for detecting cancer early, allowing for early intervention and a better future outcome.
- Don’t use tobacco - Using tobacco products increases your risk of developing cancer almost anywhere in your body. Tobacco products contain many chemicals that can cause cancer. Every time you use tobacco products, you expose your body to these chemicals that can damage your DNA. Damaged DNA causes cells to grow abnormally, which can lead to cancer.
- Maintain a healthy weight - Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from cancer. Being overweight puts you at greater risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, increasing your risk of cancer. For this reason, staying at a healthy weight is pertinent by exercising regularly and practicing healthy eating habits.
- Follow a healthy eating plan - It is essential to eat a variety of healthy foods to help support your immune system. Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats are recommended to keep the immune system and prevent cancer.
- Protect your skin from the sun - Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays helps to prevent skin cancer. Sun tanning beds should also be avoided for this reason. Using sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher and wearing protective clothing when exposed to UV rays can help reduce your risk of skin cancer.
- Get the HPV vaccine - The HPV vaccine is recommended for women ages 11 through 26 to prevent HPV infections that can cause cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing the targeted HPV types and most associated health issues.
Implementing the suggested six healthy behaviors is not a cure-all for cancer, but making small changes that align with them will improve your health over your lifetime and reduce your risk of cancer. If you are not currently practicing all six healthy behaviors above, start with one or two at a time. Some may be easier than others, so give yourself time and patience as you navigate this journey to better health.
By, Coach Mariah