Risk of developing cancer before the age of 75 years
You’ve probably heard conflicting reports about cancer prevention. Sometimes a specific cancer-prevention tip recommended in one study is advised against in another.
Often, what’s known about cancer prevention is still evolving. However, it’s well-accepted that your chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make.
So if you’re interested in preventing cancer, take comfort in the fact that simple lifestyle changes can make a difference. Consider these cancer-prevention tips.
Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.
Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it might reduce your risk. Consider these guidelines:
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Maintain a healthy weight
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation
Limit processed meats
Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.
Physical activity counts, too. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.
Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer — and one of the most preventable.
Avoid midday sun
Stay in the shade
Cover exposed areas
Don’t skimp on sunscreen.
Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps.
Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about vaccination against:
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Another effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer
Practice safe sex.
Don’t share needles
Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix and breast — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful.
Nutrition intervention supports the patient with malnutrition secondary to cancer and its treatment and has been used in the primary and secondary prevention of common forms of cancer. During the emotional stress of dealing with cancer at any stage, patients derive increased quality of life and a sense of control over their lives as the result of receiving supportive advice on diet and lifestyle. Therefore, the use of nutrition intervention in cancer patients is justified in the absence of absolute proof of efficacy as long as it is done safely and with the consent of the cancer patient.
Unlike other diseases, cancer has its own language: There’s no cure for it, but there are treatments that may be able to cure some people of some cancers.
When you understand the difference, it makes all the difference
In the language of cancer, “cure” works differently.
Doctors can give you their best perspective, based on statistics from large groups of people, on whether or not your cancer will come back. But no doctor can guarantee that you’ll be cured.
There are two reasons for this:
Instead of talking about “cures,” most medical professionals use the word “treatment.” If you have treatment, and your cancer doesn’t come back the rest of your life, you’re considered cured.