Concerned about cancer prevention? Take charge by making changes such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular screenings.
You’ve probably heard conflicting reports about cancer prevention. Sometimes the specific cancer-prevention tip recommended in one study or news report is advised against in another.
In many cases, what is 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 concerned about cancer prevention, take comfort in the fact that some simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Consider these cancer prevention tips.
1. Don’t use tobacco
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, bladder, cervix and kidney. And 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.
Avoiding tobacco — or deciding to stop using it — is one of the most important health decisions you can make. It’s also an important part of cancer prevention. If you need help quitting tobacco, ask your doctor about stop-smoking products and other strategies for quitting.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it might help reduce your risk. Consider these guidelines:
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans.
Limit fat. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-fat foods, particularly those from animal sources. High-fat diets tend to be higher in calories and might increase the risk of overweight or obesity — which can, in turn, increase cancer risk. Limit the amount of red meat and processed meats in your diet, and make sure the meat you do eat is lean.
Avoid deep-fat frying. Instead, use low-fat cooking methods like roasting, baking, broiling, steaming or poaching. Also, choose low-fat or non-fat milk and yogurt.
Reduce sugar. The empty calories in sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave and high-fructose corn syrup contribute to an expanding waistline. Try to use a little less than usual. You may be surprised how quickly your taste buds get used to the difference
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.
Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer: It’s not that supplements are bad — they may be “valuable” apart from cancer prevention, but there isn’t evidence that they protect against cancer, except for vitamin D
Eat walnuts. Lab mice decreased their chances for breast cancer tumors when walnuts were included in their diet. The nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and fiber, all of which may slow cancer growth.
Eat Mediterranean-style. Olive oil, olives, avocados and nuts contain healthy fat that deters breast cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale. These score high for containing many anti-cancer substances, such as isothiocyanates.
Globe artichoke is good for very high levels of salvestrols.
Dark greens, such as spinach and romaine lettuce, for their fiber, folate and a wide range of cancer-fighting carotenoids. Other dark colored veggies, too, such as beets and red cabbage.
Grapes and red wine, are good especially for the resveratrol.
Legumes: beans, peas and lentils, for the saponins, protease inhibitors and more.
Berries, particularly blueberries, for the ellagic acid and anthocyanosides
Flaxseed, especially if you grind it yourself and consume when fresh, for the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, lignans and other “good fats.”
Garlic, onions, scallions, leeks and chives,are good for many anti-cancer substances including allicin.
Green tea, is good for its anti-cancer catechins, a potent antioxidant.
Tomatoes, are good for the famous flavenoid lycopene.
Garlic – Garlic contains a number of compounds that can protect against cancer, especially that of the skin, colon, and lungs.
Mushrooms – Many mushrooms contain compounds that can help the body fight cancer and build the immune system as well.
3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active
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.
Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. But for substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — and if you can do more, even better. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight: Don’t just look at the scale; check your waist measurement as a crude measurement of your abdominal fat, it is recommended that man’s waists be no larger than 37 inches and women’s waists be 31.5 inches or less.
Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day: You can break that into 10- to 15-minute blocks, and even more activity may be better