You Can Lessen Your Risk for Cancer

Eat better, plus be more active, and you could lessen your chance of getting cancer. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Maybe not to everyone, but how can we make it easier?

We know through research that about 20% of all cancers in the United States have a link to body fatness, not being active, drinking too much alcohol, and/or bad diet.

Many of us want to make better choices for our health and we try. But life gets in the way and we are back to our old habits. Often these are habits that aren’t very good for us. Let’s take a moment to look over the tips.

Keep a Healthy Weight

Being overweight raises a person’s risk of getting some cancers, including endometrial (uterine), breast in postmenopausal women, and colorectal cancers. Getting to and keeping a healthier weight not only lessens the chance of cancer but it helps prevent heart problems and diabetes. Being active and eating healthier help us to get to and stay at a weight that is better for our health.

To learn more about healthier eating, visit https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/

To learn more about being more active, visit https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html

Limit Alcohol Intake

Studies around the world have shown that regularly drinking alcohol increases the risk of getting mouth, voice box, and throat cancers.

A large number of studies provide strong evidence that drinking alcohol is a risk factor for primary liver cancer. Plus, more than 100 studies have found an increased risk of breast cancer with increasing alcohol intake. The link between drinking alcohol and colorectal (colon) cancer has been reported in more than 50 studies.

If you drink alcohol at all, drink in moderation—no more than one drink a day for women, and no more than two drinks a day for men. If you don’t drink, don’t start drinking because of any possible health benefits.

Avoid Tobacco

Cigarette Smoking

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. Compared to nonsmokers, current smokers are about 25 times more likely to die from lung cancer. Smoking causes about 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths. Smoking also causes cancer of the mouth and throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, voicebox (larynx), trachea, bronchus, kidney and renal pelvis, urinary bladder, and cervix, and causes acute myeloid leukemia.

Visit www.QuitNow.ne.gov to learn how you can quit tobacco.

Secondhand Smoke

Adults who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20% to 30%. Levels of many cancer-causing and toxic chemicals are higher in secondhand smoke than in the smoke inhaled by smokers.

Protect Your Skin

Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States. You can prevent skin cancer while still having fun outdoors. Protect yourself by staying in shade, putting on sunscreen, and wearing sun-protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses.

Get Tested for Hepatitis C

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, which is most often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common type of viral hepatitis is Hepatitis C. Over time, chronic Hepatitis C can lead to serious liver problems including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer. CDC recommends that anyone who was born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for Hepatitis C.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/prevention/other.htm

When you are ready to make changes, make one small change at a time. Invite someone to make that change with you. Celebrate your small changes along the way. Enjoy each day living healthier.

Go to http://thedefender.cancer.org/ for a great online tool that will give you feedback on how you are doing at preventing cancer.

Learn more ways to live a healthy life. Call Four Corners Health Department at 877-337-3573. Visit our website at www.fourcorners.ne.gov . Send email to info@fourcorners.ne.gov .