10 Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

Worried about cancer prevention? Some simple lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular screenings, can make a big difference. Consider these 10 ways to reduce or prevent your cancer risk:

1. Eat Right: Choose nutritious foods, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to reduce your cancer risk. Limit or avoid red meat.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight and obesity are associated with a higher risk for many diseases. These include cancers of the breast, uterus, colon, and rectum. Balance caloric intake with physical activity helps in maintaining a healthy weight.

3. Stop Smoking: Tobacco use accounts for most lung cancers and play a role in the development of other cancers, including those of the cervix and bladder.

4. Avoid Secondhand Smoke: Breathing secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer and other diseases, including heart disease, in nonsmokers.

5. Drink Only In Moderation: Alcohol consumption is linked to many cancers, including those of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, and liver. People who drink alcohol should have no more than one drink a day to reduce their cancer risk.

6. Physically Active: Regular physical activity can improve your overall health and may reduce your risk for cancers of the breast, colon, and other organs. Get at least 30 minutes (45 – 60 minutes is preferable) of moderate to vigorous physical activity on five or more days a week.

7. Stay Sun Safe: Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 year-round. Wear UV sunglasses, wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved clothes. Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

8. Have Screenings As Recommended: Health screenings and tests can be lifesavers. A clean bill of health will give you great peace of mind. If something needs medical attention or emergency care, the sooner it’s detected the better. Important screenings include: blood pressure reading, bone density test, cholesterol check, colorectal screenings, diabetes screening, eye exam, hearing test, and routine physical.

9. Take Care with X-rays and Hazardous Materials. When having X-rays, ask for shields to protect other parts of your body. Follow proper directions when dealing with chemicals, metals, dust, and loose fibers.

10. Decide Carefully before Starting or Continuing HRT: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases the risk of breast cancer and other health problems. Discuss all cancer risk issues with your doctor.

Last but not the least:
Sleep – The neglected health tonic
Get a good night’s sleep. Seems simple enough, but sleep is often neglected in our fast-paced society and is so extremely important to our overall health.

Some tips to remember for a good night’s sleep:
•    get a calming bedtime routine
•    avoid caffeinated beverages in the evening
•    refrain from exciting or disturbing TV or books before bed
•    try to set sideways your worries before you get into bed and let them wait until morning.

A good night’s sleep sets the table for other healthy behaviors that will help lessen your cancer risk… and help you feel refreshed and energized at the same time!

Although many people are unaware of this, quality emergency care is available outside of your local hospitals. There are free-standing emergency rooms equivalent to hospital based emergency rooms all over Houston. AOK Emergency Room (281-542-3998) is one of the best 24 hour emergency care center staffed with board certified physicians, registered nurses, radiology technicians and allied professionals who are all committed to patient-centered care.

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