Cancer can affect people of all ages, with over a third of the population receiving a cancer diagnosis at some point during their lives. Cancer also has a devastating impact on the whole family and, in many cases, can be a hereditary disease. There are many different types and causes of cancer, but most experts agree that lifestyle choices can influence the onset and progression of many types of cancer. Making healthy lifestyle choices right now can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer in the future. Here are five things you can do right now to reduce your risk of cancer.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of high-quality protein, complex carbohydrates, fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats is one of the most important lifestyle choices you can make, as it helps to protect against many different diseases, including cancer. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, as they contain powerful antioxidants and other nutrients that help to protect cells against damage. Limiting your intake of processed meats, trans fats, and alcohol is also essential, as they have all been linked to an increased risk of this disease.
Increase Physical Activity
Sedentary lifestyles have been linked to cancer and several other serious diseases, particularly when combined with obesity. Gradually increasing your levels of physical activity helps to improve your health, protect your heart, and burn excess weight. As a general guideline, you should aim to get at least 20 minutes of exercise every day. Walking, running, cycling and swimming are all excellent activities to improve health. Maintaining a healthy weight through a combination of eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise also reduces your risk of cancer.
Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, with sun exposure being the leading cause. Taking adequate precautions to protect your skin from sun exposure is crucial. Using a sun cream with a high SPF (sun protection factor) reduces the risk of skin damage, but it needs to be reapplied regularly. Covering your skin with light clothing will offer further protection, while a wide-brimmed hat helps to protect your head and the delicate area at the back of the neck. Avoid sitting in the sun for long periods, mainly when the sun is at its hottest.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, as it can lead to many different diseases, including heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) and cancer. Smoking has been linked to cancer of the lungs, throat, larynx, mouth, bladder, kidneys, pancreas, and cervix. Passive smoking has also been shown to increase the risk in both adults and children. Also, smoking can deplete levels of some nutrients in the body, reducing the effectiveness of your immune system and making you more susceptible to disease.
Many types of cancer can be detected early through the use of screenings and routine examinations. Early detection is one of the most critical factors in successfully treating cancer, which means that regular screenings could save your life. Vaccines can also help to prevent some types of cancer in those at high risk of developing the disease. The HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine is given to girls, and sometimes boys, around the age of 12, as it can protect against HPV, a common cause of cervical cancer.
Cancer affects over a third of all people at some point during their lives. While there are many different types and causes, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing the disease. Eating a balanced diet, increasing your activity levels, protecting your skin from sun exposure, quitting smoking, and attending screenings can all significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer in the future.
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