Despite numerous forms of cancer and rising rates throughout America, there are several means of prevention one can take in order to reduce the likelihood of developing cancer. There are several lifestyle changes, as well as substances, many could give up in order to reduce their risk of contracting cancer drastically. Smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, breathing secondhand smoke, and alcohol use all go hand in hand in cancer development. Simple tasks such as eating healthier foods, drinking more water, getting daily exercise, and having regular check-ups done are the key to being cancer free.
Sun-tanning, as well as being exposed to cancer causing substances in the home and workplace, are also major factors of cancer. Water is basically the one most important way of prevention people of any age can take to bring down their risk of cancer. Drinking healthy amounts of water (3 liters for men, 2. 2 liters for women) every day have been related to reducing the risk of colon cancer by 45%. Water can reduce the risk of breast and bladder cancer by 50% as well. Water hydrates the body’s cells, making it extremely unlikely for them to begin to mutate, and tragically become cancerous.
All types of tobacco put one at risk of getting cancer at some point during life. Various types of cancer have been the result of smoking. Cancers such as acute myeloid leukemia, bladder, cervix, esophagus, kidney, larynx, lung, mouth, pancreatic, pharynx, and stomach are common in smokers. Chewing tobacco also has horrible outcomes like oral cavity and pancreatic (silent) cancer. The smoke itself, or secondhand smoke, most likely will increase ones risk of getting lung cancer. Living with a smoker increases a nonsmoker’s risk of developing cancer by 20% to 30%.
Roughly 3,000 lung cancer deaths occur each year in the United States in adult nonsmokers due to the exposure of secondhand smoke. Some research also suggests that being around secondhand smoke can increase the risk of breast cancer, nasal sinus cavity cancer, and nasopharyngeal cancer in adults. When children are exposed to secondhand smoke, their risk of getting leukemia, lymphoma, and brain tumors increase tremendously. The risk factor for many kinds of cancer increases when drinking excessive amounts of alcohol regularly. Women who have more than one drink per day appear to have an increased risk of breast cancer.
A high intake of alcoholic beverages also seems to double ones percentage of getting lung cancer. Although, the answer to this may vary depending upon gender, as well as the actual type of alcohol that is consumed. A set of lifestyle changes can tremendously affect the probability of healthy cells mutating into being malignant. A well- balanced diet is crucial for many important reasons. Certain foods fight off diseases and keep the body at homeostasis. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables greatly reduces the risk of developing cancer, along with many other conditions.
Damaged cells are repaired from antioxidants that fruit and vegetable contain. Green, orange, and yellow foods are the best prevention. Other dark fruits, such as blueberries and grapes, consist of many antioxidants. Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, brussel sprouts, and cabbage are other foods that should be incorporated in a lifestyle change. Colon cancer is a major leading cause of death in America. A diet high in red meat and animal fat increase the risk of many cancers, but colon cancer in particular. Too much red meat and animal fat can also cause obesity, which is a huge contender for cancer.
Including more fish and poultry in a diet helps to prevent the risk. Exercising thirty minutes a day for five days a week is major cancer prevention. Cancer has been related to stress and obesity. Both of these can be eliminated through exercise. A few different types of exercise that reduce stress are walking, doing yoga, dancing, rollerblading, Tai Chi, swimming, hiking, and cycling. Regular exercise increases the body’s performance overall by making the heart stronger and healthier, as well as making the body more apt to deal with strenuous circumstances.
Along with exercise, regular check-ups to a family doctor are very important. Colonoscopies and pap smears can detect abnormal cellular changes before they become cancerous. It is vital to have these done regularly in order to obtain maximum effectiveness. Breast, colon, ovarian, and other cancers are hereditary, so if there is any type of family history involving cancer, there is a greater chance of getting it. Having updated tests is a great way of knowing the chances that exist. The harmful ultraviolent rays of the sun, along with other carcinogens have been proven to increase the risk of cancer.
An extremely common type of cancer is skin cancer. The skin is the largest organ of the body, which makes it more likely to acquire cancer. There are over 1 million skin cancer cases a year in the United States alone. The easiest way to prevent skin cancer is by avoiding getting sun burned constantly. Between the hours of 11a. m and 4p. m. , the Sun’s UV index is the strongest. Shade the skin through means such as hats and umbrellas. Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate light clouds, mist, and fog, thus a sunburn can still develop on a cloudy day.
Water, sand, and snow can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s damaging rays as well. Use sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or more that contain both UVA and UVB protection. Experts suggest that sunscreen should be applied between 15-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every 2 hours. The use of tanning beds and sunlamps cause sunburn, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancer. The light from the tanning bed emits up to five times more natural sun light than a person needs. Practice sun safety and be able to recognize when skin changes occur.
Examine moles and freckles every month to check for any changes. A good way to notice change is to know the “ABCD’s” of skin cancer. A) Asymmetry, B) Borders are uneven, C) Color varies, D) Diameter is larger than a pencil eraser. A way to assess cancer as a whole is by the use of CAUTION. C) Change in bowel movements, A) A sore that does not heal, U) Unusual bleeding discharge, T) Thickening or a lump anywhere, I) Indigestion that’s unusual, O) Obvious change in a wart or a mole, N) Nagging cough or hoarseness. Exposure to certain types of substances in homes and the workplace can result in cancer.
Radon, a radioactive gas produced by the natural decay of uranium in the soil, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. Radon can enter homes through cracks in the foundation, around sump pumps, and through drains. A carcinogen that is considered an occupational exposure is asbestos. It is found in insulation in older homes. Those who work in construction are at a greater risk of exposure to asbestos because they sometimes work to refurbish buildings and houses built prior to 1970. Exposure to asbestos is responsible for roughly 84% of cases of mesothelioma, which is cancer of the lining of the lungs.
X-rays cause up to 5,700 cases of cancer a year in the United States, according to new research. The U. S has a cancer risk of 0. 9% per cumulative x-ray exposure. Medical x-rays represent 14% of radiation exposure, which is considered a carcinogen. In 1981, x-rays were the cause of 0. 5% of all cancer deaths in the U. S. Even though there a hundreds of different types of cancer, and rising rates at that, there are a wide variety of options one has to help prevent the chance of developing cancer. Ranging from no tobacco use, lifestyle changes, and avoiding harmful carcinogens, the prevention methods are plentiful.
With the use of these prevention methods throughout daily life, the possibility of developing cancer is drastically decreased. Works Cited “12 Dietary Changes That Will Lower Your Cancer Risk. ” “Ask Dr. Sear. ” William and Martha Sear. 14 Mar. 2011. “About: Cancer. ” HONConduct699484. 26 Jan. 1998. 01 May 2009-May 2011. “Cancer. ” Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition. 2012. Web. 27 Feb. 2012. “Cancer Prevention: 7 Tips to Reduce Your Risk. ” “Mayo Clinic. ” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 21 Sept. 2010.
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