It's your best bet for staying healthy.
You may not know this, but you have a secret weapon against cancer: getting screened. Getting needed tests and screenings can catch problems early. When you do, they're easier to fix.
It's as simple as calling your doctor's office. Ask, "When should I come in? What tests or screenings do I need?" A single visit with your doctor might be all you need to get on the path to a healthier you.
In the meantime, here are some things you need to know about how to live healthier and keep cancer away.
Smoking causes almost one-third of all U.S. cancer deaths. Cigarettes are full of cancer-causing ingredients. Smokers are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from it than nonsmokers. And tobacco can cause cancers almost anywhere in the body.
What you eat, and how active you are
You've probably heard this before, but it's worth repeating. Your chances of dodging cancer and other serious health problems go up if you:
- Eat healthy foods
- Are active
- Keep your weight down
Regular drinking of alcohol is linked to various forms of cancer. If you don't drink, don't start. If you do, follow these rules:
- For women: no more than one drink per day
- For men: no more than two drinks per day
One drink is:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 8–9 ounces of malt liquor
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounces, or a "shot," of 80-proof liquor
Radiation comes from many sources, like medical X-rays. But don’t overlook radon gas that can be found in many homes. Radon has been linked to lung cancer. Experts suggest testing your home for radon. If it's found, you can make repairs to your home to block it out.
Toxins in the environment
Doctors have linked certain things in the environment to cancer. For instance, working around asbestos raises your risk of lung cancer. You want to do what you can to stay away from substances like that.
If your parent has cancer, your chances of having that cancer are higher. Genetic testing can show if you are at higher risk.
Some viruses and infections have been linked to cancer. Vaccines have been created to guard against a few of these. The vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) helps prevent some cervical and related cancers. The vaccine for hepatitis B can cut the risk for liver cancer.
You can do this. It's simple. Take charge of your health. Talk with your doctor about what screenings you need.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.