Cancer can be devastating to every aspect of your life if you or a loved one is diagnosed. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Today there is more information than ever about preventingand beating cancer that gives hope to millions. Yet so many lives continue to be lost.
Experts estimate that at least half of the cases of cancer can be prevented. Considering that 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2014, half is a pretty big number.
How do you lower your cancer risk? Even if you do everything right, you could still be diagnosed with cancer but your overall risk drops dramatically with every step you take to being cancer-free.
8 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make Right Now to Lower Your Cancer Risk
- Pay attention to your body! Many forms of cancer – such as breast and skin cancer – have much higher survival rates if detected early with the proper detection method. For instance, in the detection of breast cancer, thermography is far superior to mammography (which actually causes cancer)It is critical that you know your own body…and listen to it. Yearly exams with your doctor for blood work and a checkup could be the key to catching cancerous cells early, but beware of doctors who constantly want to poke and prod. There are many non-invasive tests that they could and should be using.
- Keep your alcohol consumption in moderation. Not only does drinking to excess raise your risk of liver disease, heart disease, and diabetes, it is known to increase body-wide inflammation. While red wine has beneficial flavonoids proven to improve your cardiovascular system, doctors suggest no more than two drinks daily for men and no more than one for women.
- Get plenty of sunlight! The popular myth is that exposure to the sun causes skin cancer, but this is not completely accurate. Sun exposure is actually good for you and increases your body’s production of vitamin D (via the interaction of ultraviolet light with cholesterol in your skin). Thirty minutes of early morning or late afternoon sun on your hands and face is enough to get your recommended dose of vitamin D. But you don’t want to burn, as this might cause DNA damage and eventually cancer, so be careful. But do not use sunscreen, as it filters out helpful ultraviolet light and also contains several chemicals which cause cancer.
- Kick the smoking habit for good. Interestingly, it’s not actually tobacco itself that causes the cancer – it’s the chemicals that are used in the process of making the tobacco product that cause cancer. Quitting is the number one preventative measure you can take right now to decrease your cancer risk. A person dies from lung cancer every thirty seconds somewhere in the world and it is the leading cancer killer of men and women in the United States. The bright side is that your body begins to repair itself within hours of your last use and over 5-10 years, your risk of lung cancer returns to that of a person who doesn’t smoke.
- Move your body at least once a day. Regular exercise doesn’t have to be excessive, just consistent. A walk around the block, joining a low-impact aerobics class, rebounding on a mini trampoline, or simply walking your dog give your bodythe exercise it needs to keep you healthy. A sedentary lifestyle raises your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
- Get the garbage out of your diet. Choose organic whenever possible, forget “pre-prepared” foods, and ditch anything that has a full list of chemicals you can’t pronounce. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and water is one guaranteed way to give your body the fuel it needs to keep you strong for years to come.
- Say “NO” to GMO! Genetically modified organisms (GMO) have been shown to cause cancer and premature death in laboratory rats, so they should be avoided like the plague. Over 90% of the corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, and cotton in the USA has been genetically modified, so be sure to read labels!
- Refuse to let stress impact your health. Ongoing stress leads to total body inflammation that has been linked to cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Refuse to allow stress to destroy you mentally, emotionally, and physically by evaluating the causes of stress in your life and getting rid of them one at a time. Forgive, forget, and move on.
Lowering your own risk of cancer has more to do with your individual lifestyle choices than you may realize. Make the commitment to your health to take on one challenge every month and you’re going to feel better right now as well as for years to come.