The American Cancer Society predicts one out of two men, and one out of three women are likely to have cancer some day. Here are five ways to reduce your risk for this common disease:
Get screened when you should
- Screenings and routine exams can help detect many cancers while they are still small. Cancer of the breast, cervix, prostate, colon and skin have proven screening methods that increase chances of survival.
- The leading cancer among women is breast cancer. Women survive 95% of the time when it is found early.
- Prostate cancer is #1 among men. When it is found early, 99% of men with prostate cancer survive.
- Talk about screening options with your primary healthcare provider.
- Learn about the simple screenings that can save your life.
Protect your skin
- Skin cancer is the most common type. It is also easy to prevent. To lower your risk:
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or greater. Broad-spectrum sunscreens block rays that cause deep tissue damage (UVA - long wavelength) and sunburn (UVB - short wavelength).
- Avoid the sun's strongest rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- If you cannot stay out of the sun, protect yourself with a wide-brimmed hat, long pants and long sleeves.
- Do not use tanning beds or sunlamps.
- Learn about the early warning signs of skin cancer.
Get moving each day
- Research shows that 30 minutes of daily exercise at a moderate rate is best. This means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat while you can still talk with someone else. Try brisk walking, swimming laps or riding a bike. The more hours you are active, the lower your risk of cancer.
- Ready to get active? Visit our wellness site to learn about physical activity programs for all ages.
- Eat lighter and leaner. Try to eat at least 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Choose whole grains instead of refined products. Eat less red or processed meat.
- Maintain a healthy weight throughout your life. People who weigh more than they should have higher levels of estrogen and insulin. Both are linked with tumor growth.
- Limit your daily alcohol intake. Men should have no more than two drinks. Women should have just one drink.
- Get health recipes and nutrition advice.
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