Although we know cancer is more prevalent in people with a family history of it, the reality is there are numerous environmental and lifestyle factors that can increase your risk.
Some of these factors come from our environment, the food we eat, and even our workplace. Take care of yourself and take steps to prevent it! Here are six tips for reducing the risk of cancer:
1. Follow a Protective Diet
Making good food choices overall may help cut your cancer risk. A protective diet is mostly plant-based. It focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts, beans and fish. If eating plant-based isn’t your style, be sure to stick to lean protein and make sure you’re eating enough fiber and nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. In addition, foods that are processed and have added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and saturated fats should be eaten in moderation. Find out what a cancer-protective diet includes!.
Needing additional support with weight management? Baptist Health Weight and Nutrition Center offers you the resources you need for a healthy and happy lifestyle. Stop by our location or give us a call (501) 202-2001, ext.
2. Quit Smoking in All Forms
Tobacco smoke has about 7,000 chemicals that can cause cancer in the lungs and other parts of the body, such the stomach, liver, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, and kidneys. Reduce your chances of getting cancer by avoiding nicotine in all its forms, like cigarettes, tobacco, electronic cigarettes; this also includes secondhand smokers.
Take a more in-depth look into the health hazards of smoke.
3. Stay Active
The key to preventing disease is also keeping yourself active.
Being physically active will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of various conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and common cancers. There are many ways to stay active during the day including using the stairs, walking the dog, parking further away from your location or completing chores around your home! Remember that any physical activity is better than none!
4. Protect Yourself From Sunlight and Radiation
The incidence of skin cancer is a consequence of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays that damage cells in the skin. This type of cancer is recurrent if you are exposed to the sun’s rays during peak hours and artificial sources such as sunlamps and tanning beds.
Although the sun is the primary source of UV, you should not avoid it altogether! Basking in the sun for a few minutes in the morning can help regulate your sleep cycle, get you vitamin D, and strengthen your immune system. Next time you go out, protect yourself! Here are four ways to protect your skin from the sun.
5. Consider The Benefits Of Breastfeeding
Although breastfeeding can be challenging for some mothers, there are many benefits. The longer women breastfeed, the lower her risk of cancer. Just as breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers, it can also aid in preventing high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes.
Do you need assistance with breastfeeding? Baptist Health offers different resources to support you. Learn more by visiting our Breastfeeding Support page.
Additionally, Baptist Health offers comprehensive services for breast health, disease diagnosis, and treatment. From preventative screenings and ultrasounds to 3D mammograms and breast MRI, find the care you need at the following locations:
- Baptist Health Breast Center in Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Fort Smith
- Baptist Health High-Risk Breast & Hereditary Cancer Clinic
6. Keep an Eye on Your Workplace and Environmental Factors
Pollution in the air, soil, chemicals in food, and even hazardous materials in your work environment can be risk factors. Depending on how often or how long you are exposed, substances like asbestos, radon, soot and secondhand smoke can increase your risk of cancer. An example of a way you can reduce your risk would be to test your basement for radon and make sure the levels are appropriate.
Try to follow prevention and safety measures to protect yourself from any dangerous material or substance exposure in your work environment.
Take the first step for early detection of any chronic condition before you have any symptoms or your condition becomes severe. Getting an annual checkup is essential for maintaining good health and should be an integral aspect of anyone’s health care routine.
Your annual checkup usually covers things like your weight, height, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and cholesterol. In the event that your doctor observes any abnormality, other tests will be required for a better diagnosis.
Here are a few common screenings your physician may recommend depending on your gender, age and risk factors.
- Colonoscopy for colorectal cancer
- Low-dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) for lung cancer
- Mammogram for breast cancer
- Pap test for cervical cancer
Be proactive with cancer prevention! Talk with your primary care provider today about routine screenings that are right for you. For more information, call 1-888-BAPTIST (227-8478).
Diagnosis and Cancer Care
At Baptist Health, we promote early detection through various diagnostic tests and services. Likewise, accurate diagnosis is crucial for developing an effective treatment plan.
Learn more about Baptist Health’s innovative services and connect with a specialist to guide you through every part of your treatment.
UAMS Baptist Health Cancer Center