Many types of cancer can be prevented with lifestyle and behavioral changes like refraining from tobacco use, limiting fat intake, avoiding harmful rays of the sun, and avoiding exposure to certain elements or chemicals.
Other cancers are inherited, but not everyone with a particular risk factor develops the disease. To reduce the likelihood of getting cancer, you can schedule regular checkups and get recommended cancer screening examinations
. When cancer is found in its early stages, you increase your chances of beating the disease.
- Download the American Cancer Society's "Tests to Find Cancer Early"
- Seven ways to prevent cancer (Adapted from: "7 Ways to Prevent Cancer," Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention)
- Don't smoke: If you already smoke, quit for good as soon as you can. Smoking (including cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and chewing tobacco) is linked to cancers of the lung, throat, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, and rectum.
- Maintain and healthy weight: If you're overweight, lose weight. If you're already at a healthy weight, maintain it. Being overweight increases risk for cancers of the colon, rectum, uterus, and breast.
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day: Being physically active lowers risk of colon cancer and may lower the risk of breast cancer.
- Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet, with a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and a limited amount of red meat, lowers the risk of cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, colon, rectum, stomach and pancreas.
- Drink no more than one (1) alcoholic drink a day: One drink = a glass of wine, bottle of beer, or shot of hard liquor. Alcohol causes cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, mouth, throat, and esophagus.
- Practice safe sex: Protect yourself and your partner(s) from sexually transmitted infections. Sexually transmitted infections cause cancers of the cervix, vagina, anus, and liver
- Protect yourself from too much sun: Excessive sun exposure can cause melanoma and other skin cancers
If you are interested sharing information about cancer prevention with your community group, PeaceHealth Southwest can provide you with a speaker. Our complimentary speakers bureau
is staffed by experts in cancer and prevention who can tailor a talk for your group of 10 or more.