Nearly one-third of all cancers are preventable. It is our job to make sure we are doing everything we can in order to help ourselves and those around us. By keeping your health in better check you can lower your risks for cancer.
The best way to help lower your risk for cancer is to quit smoking. Smoking damages many major organs in the body, and can hurt the health of people around you as well. Smoking accounts for approximately 30% of all cancers. Smoking tobacco can lead to many different types of cancers including cancer of the lung, esophagus, throat, mouth, stomach, pancreas, larynx, bladder, kidney, and cervix. Do yourself and others a favor and protect your lungs from all of the harm of tobacco by not smoking.
Keeping a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, limiting your fat intake, and drinking alcohol only in moderation can help lower risks for cancer as well. Your chances of getting multiple kinds of cancer such as breast cancer, liver cancer, and cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box and esophagus can increase with the amount of alcohol you drink and depending on how long you have been regularly drinking. When combined with tobacco abuse, drinking alcoholic beverages increases the risk of cancer even more.
Keeping yourself at a healthy weight by staying active is important for many obvious reasons. By keeping your weight under control you could lower your risks for colon and breast cancers as well as improving your overall health.
Protecting yourself from the sun is another easy way to help prevent cancer. The hours between 10am and 4 pm have the strongest sun rays. Staying out of the direct sunlight can help you lower your risk of skin cancer. If you must be outside, make sure you are always using some form of sunscreen lotion on exposed areas of your skin. Many daily lotions now have sunscreen in them to make sure your skin is protected at all times. Lastly, avoid tanning beds and sunlamps as they can increase your chances of skin cancers.
Finally, by getting regular medical care screenings you will be more aware of what is normal for you and what isn't. This will allow you to get the best treatment possible if something is noticed right away. Never hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor if something doesn't look or feel right.
Dr. Michael Soble, MD has 16 years of experience and practice in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology. He has eight office locations in Crystal Lake, Libertyville, McHenry, Lake Forest and Barrington. He has received the Patient Choice Award in both 2008 and 2012.