Cancer often seems to be a disease that strikes at random, and sometimes that’s true. However, there are actually several things you can be doing every day to reduce your cancer risk. Here are some of the easiest ways to help prevent cancer; some of which are quite surprising.
It’s important to eat right if you want to prevent cancer. First and foremost, make sure you’re getting lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Dark, leafy greens are especially good for you. You’ll also want whole grains, beans and other plant-based foods in your diet. High-fat foods and processed meats should be avoided – try to limit your intake of these foods as much as possible, but make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet. Meanwhile, drink lots of water and avoid sugary snacks and drinks.
You don’t have to work out like a maniac or become a gym rat to reduce your cancer risk. You can reduce your risk for numerous types of cancer just by getting regular physical exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. If you can do more, that’s even better.
The best way to get clean water is to actually just filter your tap water at home. This significantly reduces your exposure to possible and known carcinogens along with hormone-disrupting chemicals. Forget about bottled water altogether – it isn’t any cleaner than your tap water, and in some cases, the quality is actually lower. On top of that, the plastic bottles most bottled water is stored in may contain a chemical contaminant called BPA that can seep into the water. (To learn more about BPA, read The Possible Dangers Of BPA In Plastic.)
You might think you’re protecting yourself when you make sure your meats are cooked to “well done,” but when meat is seared at higher temperatures, it can cause the meat to contain certain cancer-causing agents like heterocyclic amines. In addition, charcoal-broiled meats could contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, another carcinogen. Therefore, avoid grilling meats when possible. If you do want to grill, you can cut down on the chances of your meats containing these harmful substances by marinating them for at least an hour before cooking.
If you’re a woman, you shouldn’t drink more than 1 alcoholic beverage per day. For men, the recommendation is no more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day. Alcohol can increase the risk of many types of cancer, especially if you drink regularly. (For more information, read The Harmful Effects Of Drinking Alcohol.)
Smoking doesn’t just lead to lung cancer – in fact, tobacco use in any form could cause a number of various types of cancers. Quit smoking as soon as possible to significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer. (If you’re looking for help to stop smoking, check out Tips On How To Quit Smoking As Soon As Possible.)
When you fill up your tank beyond the automatic shut-off at the pump, you could be increasing your risk of cancer. The extra fuel could spill and cause the pump’s vapor recovery system to work less effectively, which increases the risk that toxic, cancer-causing chemicals like benzene could come into contact with your skin or get in your lungs.
If you’re beginning to feel pain in certain areas of your body, don’t ignore it. Pains that seem to keep occurring in the same areas or which get progressively worse could signal that something’s wrong. For instance, pelvic pain could signal ovarian cancer, which if caught early can have a great survival rate. Pay attention to your body and you could stop cancer in its tracks before it’s too late.
The ionizing radiation used in many types of medical scans has been linked to cancer. That means higher radiation-emitting tests like CT scans should only be performed if they are absolutely necessary. According to Prevention.com, about one-third of CT scans may be unnecessary, so ask your doctor if there are any other tests – such as ultrasounds or MRIs – which could be used as a diagnostic tool for your condition. Fortunately, this doesn’t apply to certain cancer screening tests, like mammograms, since the radiation level is so low.
Though no direct links have been found, many artificially scented candles and air fresheners contain carcinogens. Instead of using these products, try cleaning up the source of a bad smell and use beeswax candles as an all-natural air freshener. You can also set out a bowl of white vinegar to help drive out bad smells.
Taking these steps won’t ensure that you’ll never get cancer – there’s no guarantee for that. However, doing these simple things every day can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer while also helping you live a healthier, happier life.