7 Ways that may help prevent cancer

Major health issues such as cancer can take a toll on your quality of life, emotions, and relationships. Cancer can also affect your ability to earn a living which can have a devastating effect on your financial situation. Don’t wait for cancer to come banging on your door. Here are some cancer prevention tips that may help protect yourself and your family from the pain and anguish of the Big C.

1. Say no to smoking

Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of various types of cancer including lung, larynx, throat, bladder, cervix, pancreas, and kidney cancer. Even if you don’t smoke, exposure to secondhand smoke can still increase your risk of lung cancer. Secondhand smoke can come from an individual breathing out smoke while smoking or burning tobacco products. Avoiding the use of tobacco is a vital part of cancer prevention.

If you’re a smoker and you need help quitting, you can consult your doctor on how to resist tobacco cravings and quit smoking.

2. Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays

According to Philippine medical experts, approximately 1 out of 50 Filipinos will be diagnosed with Melanoma (the third most common type of skin cancer) at some point in their lifetime. Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

Prevent the risk of skin cancer by practicing sun safety. Make it a habit to stay in the shade, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when UV rays are strongest. Protect your exposed skin by wearing clothing that shields your arms and legs. It is also advisable to wear a wide brim hat and use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Avoid tanning beds which can be as damaging as sunlight.

3. Eat a healthy diet

Making healthy food selections can help reduce your risk of cancer. Make it a habit to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid eating too much processed foods and limit consumption of red meat. It’s also recommended to cut down on fast food and dishes that are high in fat, starches, or sugars including refined sugars.

4. Avoid “inuman” sessions

Filipinos love getting together with family and friends, especially during special occasions. Drinking sessions with different kinds of “pulutan” have become a staple in Pinoy celebrations. Remember that you don’t have to follow the norm. You always have a choice to refrain from drinking.

If you choose to drink alcohol, remember to drink moderately and limit the frequency. Based on Mayo Clinic, the amount of alcohol that you consume plus the period that you’ve been drinking regularly increases the risk of various cancers such as liver, kidney, lung, breast, and colon cancer.

5. Embrace an active lifestyle

Staying active can help you stay fit and maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise has been linked to reduced risk of various cancers such as colon, breast, and even reproductive cancer. Health experts suggest exercising at least 30 minutes a day. You can combine moderate and vigorous physical activities.

6. Ask your doctor about vaccinations

Getting protection from viral infections is part of cancer prevention. Ask your physician about vaccination against Hepatitis B which can heighten the risk of liver cancer and vaccination against Human papillomavirus (HPV) which can cause cervical and other genital cancers.

7. Perform self-exams and get screenings

Consult a health care professional about proper procedures of regular self-exams and cancer screenings. Early detection for certain cancers such as skin, breast, cervix, and colon cancer can help increase the success of treatment. Prepare yourself for medical situations by getting high-quality healthcare plans.

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