Friday, February 26, 2016

February is Cancer Prevention Month- Tools to cut your risk

February is national cancer prevention month and while some cancers aren’t preventable there are several that can be; such as Mesothelioma and skin cancer.   I am teaming up with the Mesothelioma + asbestos awareness center to bring you some tips on cancer prevention. Our lifestyle habits can expound on the cancerous cells that are already inside our body, these factors includes, being overweight, lack of vitamin D and smoking and household toxin.  The American cancer society states that about one half of all cancer deaths could have been prevented if healthier lifestyle choices were made.

Here are a few tools that can help to reduce if not prevent your cancer risk;

Do not smoke- Smoking has been linked with cancers such as lung, mouth throat, and kidney. Exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer. Avoiding or quitting the use of tobacco products is very important is the prevention of cancer. 

Maintain a healthy weight- Maintaining a healthy weight is not just about the numbers on the scale.  Maintain a healthy weight should incorporate lowering your body fat percentage and building more lean muscles.  In order to achieve a healthy weight you will need to 1) Exercise regularly, and 2) have a healthy diet.

  • Exercise regularly- It is recommended that an adult person be physically active for at least 30 minutes per day.  The more active you are the better you will feel and your body will become metabolic inferno. Even though taking the stairs or parking the car a little further are all good ideas you will need to incorporate more vigorous  and strength training exercises as you get stronger in order to build more lean muscles. 
  • Have a healthy diet- Having a healthy diet my not prevent cancer but it can lower your risk significantly.  It is best to avoid sugary drinks such as sodas, high calorie foods, salty foods, foods rich in fat and processed foods because they make you more susceptible to being overweight. Instead have a diet in which you consume a large variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, fiber rich foods, lean meat and fish.  This type of diet is conducive to a healthier and leaner body.


Protect your skin from the sun- Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers but is one of the most preventable.  Skin cancer is not limited to people of lighter complexion therefore always wear a sunscreen and ensure that your makeup and moisturizers has a SPF of 25 or better.  Even though we get most of our vitamin D (which is proven to be effective in preventing cancer) from the sun; staying out of the sun as much as possible to prevent skin damage from the rays from the sun.

Get immunized- Certain sexually transmitted viral infections such as Hepatitis B and HPV are linked to liver and cervical and genital cancers respectively.  The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for adults with high risk sex lives such as adults who are in multiply relationships.  The HPV vaccine is recommended for children between the age of 11 and 12, and adults under the age of 26.  It is recommended that the most effective prevention against these infections is to avoid risky behavior. 

Get annual medical care- It is recommended to visit your doctor at least once per year to have a comprehensive health screening. Having regular screening for various types of cancer can increase the chance of early discovery, when the treatments are most likely to be successful. When you visit your doctor, be prepared to ask him/her questions and voice your concerns.


Get your home inspected for toxin- On the top of the list for cancer prevention is reducing your exposure to environmental toxins.  These toxins can be found in common household cleaners, beauty products, non-stick cookware, drinking water and building materials.  We’ve all heard about or seen studies on the effects of plastics and BPA; lately in the news was the water crisis in Flint Michigan. 
It is advisable to have your home inspected for toxins. Asbestos is one of those toxins that is not yet band in the US. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer which is directly linked to asbestos and it is important to check your home to make sure it is safe. 


While there are many factors including gene that can affect your risk of getting cancer; maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes a long way to minimize the risk.  Cancer prevention is in your hands and the reward will last a lifetime. 


Visit www.cancer.org and www.maacenter.org for resources on cancer prevention tools and other great resources.  If you need help with meal and diet planning www.choosemyplate.gov  is a great resource.


No comments:

Post a Comment