Cancer is one of the deadliest illnesses, taking the lives of millions of people across the world each year. But what’s even more concerning is that the number of cancer patients being diagnosed is rising. With changes in our lifestyle and a degrading environment over the past few years, we are now more prone to developing cancer. Therefore, it’s crucial to reduce the risk of cancer and protect yourself for a healthy and happy life.
However, there’s no way to protect yourself from this dangerous disease as no cure has been developed yet. But you should know that there is one in the form of prevention. By changing certain parts of your lifestyle and avoiding carcinogens effectively, you can stay cancer-free throughout your life. Here are five tips for reducing the risk of cancer.
Avoid environmental carcinogens
While we can avoid some carcinogens through lifestyle changes, it can be quite challenging to avoid those in the environment around us. Over time, because of pollution and certain chemicals, there has been a significant rise in carcinogens around us. You might not even be safe from them within your home. Radon gas, a well-known carcinogen, can collect in indoor spaces over time, posing a threat to your health. Common household products also contain carcinogens such as formaldehyde. So, to remain safe, be sure to keep the air inside your house filtered and always use products that are free from carcinogens. Additionally, you can also wear masks while outdoors and avoid heavily polluted areas, especially those with vehicular emissions.
However, even after taking such measures, carcinogens such as asbestos can be tough to avoid. Asbestos particles are often found in common construction materials around our homes, putting us at risk. Even a few asbestos particles can linger in your body for a long time and cause mesothelioma, a rare and fatal cancer. So, learn about mesothelioma cancer to protect your health effectively.
Maintain a healthy diet
Our diet plays an important role in disease prevention. A body lacking nutrition is not only more prone to developing diseases, including cancer, but is also more likely to fail at fighting off such illnesses. So, you should maintain a healthy diet. Food from plant sources such as fruits and vegetables is encouraged to reduce cancer risk since it has antioxidants. In the case of meat, it’s best to consume lean meat from chicken and fish. Meat with a high-fat percentage can result in obesity, which can, in turn, cause certain types of cancer. It’s best to avoid overeating, especially if it’s junk food that’s high in calories and sugars.
Moreover, alongside avoiding junk food, you should also remove processed meat from your diet. The World Health Organization has classified processed meat as a group 1 carcinogen. This means that there’s strong evidence suggesting such items can cause certain types of cancer.
Be physically active
Over the years, more people have begun to adopt sedentary lifestyles, especially in developed countries. However, following such a way of living is one of the poorest health choices you can take, as it’s a major cause of obesity. Overweight people are not only prone to diseases like diabetes type 2 and coronary heart disease but also certain types of cancer. Obesity is linked to a higher risk of developing as many as 13 types of cancer. Therefore, it’s essential to keep yourself physically active to avoid obesity and reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Your goal should be to keep your body mass index (BMI) below 25; people above this value are considered overweight. If your BMI is not within a suitable range, you must start exercising daily. Exercising even for half an hour each day can significantly improve your physical health and save you from chronic diseases.
Avoid tobacco and alcohol
Whether you smoke cigarettes or a different form of tobacco, using tobacco will significantly increase your chances of developing cancer, especially in the lungs. Many tobacco addicts end up with lung, throat, mouth, bladder, pancreas, and larynx cancer, among many other types. However, despite knowing this fact, many people continue to smoke because of the misconception that light smoking does not increase cancer risk. It’s true that those using tobacco excessively are at a greater risk of cancer, but you should know that those smoking casually are not safe either. So, it’s best to leave tobacco aside and focus on healthy living.
Alongside tobacco, alcohol is another commonly used carcinogen. Whether you’re a heavy or a light drinker, alcohol threatens your health as it is linked to mouth, liver, and bowel cancers. Drinking alcohol might give you some temporary satisfaction, but cancer developing in your body will most likely be permanent. So, be sure to get rid of alcoholic beverages for a safer lifestyle.
Protect yourself from the sun
Spending time outside under the sun is good for the mind and body. It provides a nice environment to exercise in and reduce stress. However, sunlight contains UV radiation that can be harmful to the skin. As a result, excessive exposure to sunlight can lead to skin cancer. But you don’t need to completely avoid spending time outdoors to reduce your cancer risk. A few essential safety measures can protect you from dangerous UV radiation. For instance, it’s best to avoid going under the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM, as the UV index is highest during those hours.
Furthermore, you can also make use of sunscreen. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with 30 SPF is recommended for the best protection. Even if it’s not sunny outside or the weather is cloudy, always apply sunscreen, especially if you have sensitive skin. However, sunlight is not the only source of UV radiation. You should also avoid the use of tanning beds and sunlamps.