7 Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Cancer

With statistics revealing that 39.6% of all people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, its safe to assume that almost everybody is at risk. And if you’ve known anybody who’s fought cancer, you’ll know how deadly it can be. And like all the other diseases, when it comes to cancer, prevention is better than cure. And here are some ways in which you can cancer-proof your life and reduce your risk of developing the disease.

1. Introduce Certain Anti-Cancer Foods To Your Diet

Eat antioxidant-rich food to prevent cancer.

By eating foods that are rich in antioxidants, you can prevent cancer. They fight the oxidative damage caused due to the scavenging activities of free radicals, which are highly reactive chemical substances that are harmful when present in abundance. Certain foods also contain anti-cancer substances like carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Here are some foods that help fight cancer.1 2

  • Berries:  Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries are known to protect your cells against cancer. One study demonstrated that blackberry and raspberry hindered colon, breast, lung, and gastric human tumor cells by 50, 24, 54, and 37%, respectively.3 4
  • Whole grains: To prevent cancer, go for whole grains like bulgur, oatmeal, brown rice, barley, and millet. Whole grains, unlike refined or multi-grains, contain polyphenols that can fight cancer. They also carry protease inhibitors, which are chemicals that can prevent the multiplication of cancerous cells. Whole grains also contain other compounds like saponins, phytic acid, and alkylresorcinols, which are being studied for their anti-cancer properties.5
  • Fatty fish: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish like tuna and sardines can help prevent cancer. Research indicates that consumption of fatty fish is linked to a lower risk of cancer, especially of the breast.6
  • Leafy veggies: Eating spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory and Swiss chard can help prevent cancer. The antioxidants and carotenoids (plant pigments) present in leafy greens can inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.7
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts, especially walnuts, carry antioxidants like polyphenols, which are believed to fight cancer. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce cancer risk. Flaxseeds, meanwhile, are rich in phytoestrogens that can reduce breast cancer tumor growth by 45 percent.8 9

2. Get Enough Exercise

Exercise regularly to prevent cancer.

You

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already know the important of physical activity, but did you know that exercise is linked with a lower risk of 13 types of cancer? In fact, the rate of cancer among physically fit individuals is lower by almost 7–38 percent. However, this doesn’t mean you’ve to transform into a gym junkie overnight. Just aim to get 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise each week. Moderate intensity exercises include walking at a speed of 20 minutes per mile. For a more vigorous workout, opt for cycling, swimming, skipping rope, kickboxing, or crossfit training.10 11

3. Stop Smoking And Drinking

To prevent cancer, quit smoking and drinking.

We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again. Stop smoking and drinking excessively. Tobacco use and alcohol, in additional causing a hoard of other terminal illnesses, could also increase cancer risk. The ethanol in alcohol could put you at an increased risk of breast cancer, colon and rectal cancer, liver cancer, and cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus. And smokers, according to studies, could face a seven-fold increased risk of oral cancer.12 13

4. Shed The Extra Pounds

Maintain a healthy BMI to prevent cancer.

Obesity can be a gateway to various illnesses, one of which is cancer. In the US alone, 3.5% of the new cases of cancer in men and 9.5% cases in women (9.5%) in 2012 were due to obesity. Individuals who are overweight are often affected by a chronic but low-level inflammation, which over time can cause cancer. Excess fat cells are also believed to be a risk factor. To prevent cancer, make sure you exercise regularly and maintain an optimum BMI (body-mass-index).14

5. Check For Abnormal Skin Discoloration Or Lumps

Check your skin for moles.

Most cases of skin cancer began as abnormal lumps or moles on the skin. Every month, perform a full-body checkup in front of a mirror and look for any abnormal growths or lumps on your body. Make sure to check your nails and scalp as well. New moles could be a sign of skin cancer or melanoma. If you’re over 40, visit a dermatologist every year, even if you don’t think there’s anything out of ordinary growing on your skin.15

6. Analyze The Medical History Of Your Family

Analyze your family's medical history.

Cancer

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can, sometimes, run in the family. And genetics play a role in about 5–10% of all cancers. To prevent and treat cancer at the earliest, it’s important that you analyze your risk. If a close family member has had cancer, you’re at a high risk for it. If your family has a history of cancer, it’s important that you consult a genetic counselor and analyze your risk and plan of action.16 17

7. Undergo Screening

Undergo screening to detect or rule out cancer.

This is something that most of us ignore. According to Cancer Research, UK, almost half the cancer patients are diagnosed with cancer only when it reaches a critical stage. And an early detection of cancer is important, as effectively treatment early on can inhibit the progression of the tumor cells and increase the chances of survival of the patient.18

Cancer can be fatal. To prevent it and reduce your risk, follow these steps. Also, ensure you maintain a healthy, lifestyle overall, get enough sleep, and be physically active.

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