• Manage Your Cancer Risk

    No one wants to get cancer. While there are some risk factors that can’t be avoided — such as getting older and your family history — there are many simple steps you can take to help reduce your chances of developing it. You can manage your cancer risk by:

    • Making healthy lifestyle choices
    • Staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight
    • Practicing sun safety
    • Abstaining from cancer-causing substances, including tobacco products
    • Staying up-to-date on your vaccinations

    Of course, it’s always best to talk with your doctor about the preventive measures that make the most sense for you. Your current health, family history and cancer risk should all be considered in developing your personal plan.

    Making Smart Lifestyle Choices

    Making healthy lifestyle choices can have a major impact on your overall health, and your cancer risk. Take cancer prevention into your own hands with these simple tips:

  • A healthy diet is key to feeling good and preventing cancer. When our body receives the nutrition it needs, we’re better able to fight off infection, illness and disease, including cancer.

    Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 and the American Cancer Society offer these guidelines for a balanced, healthy eating plan:

    • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
    • Include eggs and nuts as a protein source
    • Stick to foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
    • Stay within your daily calorie needs
    • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish and beans over red meat (beef, pork and lamb)
    • Minimize your intake of processed meats such as bacon, sausage, lunch meats, and hot dogs
    • If you eat red meat, choose lean cuts and eat smaller portions
    • Prepare meat, poultry, and fish by baking, broiling, or poaching rather than by frying or charbroiling

    Ask a Dietician

    Find a Nutrition Class

    In addition to a healthy diet, physical activity is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight and reducing your cancer risk. According to the American Cancer Society, obesity is linked to several cancers including:

    • Breast (in women past menopause)
    • Colorectal
    • Endometrium (the lining of the uterus)
    • Esophageal
    • Pancreatic
    • Kidney

    Plan for about 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This may include:

    • Moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as walking
    • More vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as running
    • An equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous activities

    Always check with your health care provider before you begin an exercise program.

    Learn More from the American Institute for Cancer Research

    Find a Fitness Class

    Since skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, protecting your skin from sun damage is critical. Your risk of developing skin cancer increases with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or indoor tanning beds. To reduce your over-exposure to UV radiation:

    • Avoid indoor tanning
    • Cover up — wear clothing that keeps your skin protected
    • Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 to 30, and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection
    • Reapply sunscreen every 1 ½ to 2 hours, and after swimming or perspiring
    • Stay in the shade — especially between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm
    • Use sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays
    • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, head, ears and neck

    Find a Dermatologist

    Find a Class on Becoming Tobacco Free

    Tobacco use is the number one cause of cancer deaths worldwide. It’s associated with many cancers, including lung, oral/head & neck, esophageal, bladder, pancreatic and colon cancers. Avoiding tobacco use completely is the best way to reduce your risk of tobacco-related cancer.

    Tobacco in any form is harmful. Although the use of traditional tobacco products is declining, new products are emerging that are just as bad for your health. This includes an array of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Devices (ENDDS) that contain cancer-causing chemicals and can be more addictive than traditional tobacco products. The best way to reduce your cancer risk is to avoid or quit using tobacco products altogether.

    A number of resources are available to help you quit tobacco and nicotine. When you decide to quit, you don’t have to overcome addiction on your own. These tools can offer you support as you develop a tobacco-free lifestyle, including:

    Modern research has led to vaccines that can protect against specific types of cancers. Keeping these vaccinations up-to-date is one way you can reduce your cancer risk:

    Hepatitis B

    This vaccination protects against the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Chronic HBV infection is associated with serious liver disease, including liver cancer.

    Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

    The HPV vaccine protects against cancers caused by the human papilloma virus. This virus causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer, but can also cause other cancers, including anal and oropharyngeal cancers (throat & tongue). About 12,000 women get cervical cancer every year in the U.S., and a third of those cases are fatal.

    Because there is no screening for most of the cancers HPV causes, it’s important to prevent HPV before it becomes deadly. That’s why the vaccine is recommended before adolescents become sexually active and are likely exposed to the virus. The HPV Vaccine is safe and effective when given prior to HPV exposure.

    Learn More About HPV Vaccine

    Information is the best weapon in the fight against cancer. The more you know, the more you can do to protect yourself and your family.

    One way to stay informed is to connect with us on social media. You can learn more about cancer prevention and get many easy for keeping you and your loved ones healthy.

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