Cancer Prevention Tips

Experts from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) emphasize that people can do many things to reduce their chance of developing cancer. Scientists estimate that more than half of all cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented by certain lifestyle choices. The NCI urges people to do the following to reduce their risk of cancer:

Avoid tobacco. Smoking causes cancers of the lung, throat, mouth, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix. Smoking also may increase the chance of getting cancers of the stomach, liver, prostate, colon, and rectum. Call the NCI's Smoking Quitline at 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) for free help with quitting.

Eat healthy. Studies have shown that eating low-fat foods, whole grains, and at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily can affect your health in a positive way.

Drink alcohol in moderation. Heavy drinkers have an increased risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, and liver. The risk is especially high for those who drink heavily and smoke.

Stay trim. Get some exercise and try to maintain your ideal weight. Obesity appears to increase the risk of cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, endometrium (lining of the uterus), cervix, ovary, kidney, and gallbladder. Studies have found that obesity also may increase the risk of cancers of the liver, pancreas, rectum, and esophagus.

Get screened. Through regular screening tests, pre-cancerous conditions and early cancers can be found and treated. Talk with your doctor about your cancer risk factors and which screening tests you should have. Limit your exposure to the sun, as well as to tanning beds and sun lamps.

Early detection remains a woman's best defense in the battle against breast cancer. Like all cancers, breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the body change and grow out of control. When problematic breast tissue cells are diagnosed early, the prognosis for cure is extremely high. National organizations that publish guidelines about breast cancer screening have different recommendations depending on age and risk factors, so it is important for you to discuss the best screening option with your doctor. Read about the latest recommendations here »

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