Four Tips To Prevent Cancer

June 3, 2020
It's true that there isn't a 100% effective way to prevent cancer. However, you can change risky habits to try to reduce your risk of cancer. Read on to discover some tips to prevent cancer!

There isn’t a 100% effective way to prevent cancer. After all, this is one of the most challenging diseases of our time. It’s estimated that in 2018 there were approximately 18.1 million cases in the world. For this reason, it’s important to take measures to try to reduce the risk of cancer.

The development of cancer is linked to your exposure to known risk factors. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a risk factor as: “any trait, characteristic, or exposure of an individual that increases their probability of suffering an illness or injury.”

Some risk factors can’t be avoided, since they are intrinsic to people, like age, sex, or a genetic mutation. Therefore, we’ll focus on avoiding or reducing exposure to certain substances that are in your control, and we’ll help you adopt some healthy habits.

Discover four tips to prevent cancer below!

Tips to prevent cancer

According to information from the Mayo Clinic, it’s widely accepted that your probability of developing cancer is influenced by your lifestyle choices. In this sense, you should know that you can prevent, or at least reduce your risk of cancer, with a few lifestyle changes.

We’ll take a look at the most important ones next.

1. Don’t smoke or consume tobacco

Woman breaking a cigarette to quit smoking and prevent cancer.
Avoiding smoking and any exposure to the toxins in cigarettes can help reduce your risk of cancer.

Smoking is one of the most important risk factors. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)smoking was related to 22% of all cancer deaths worldwide in 2004. That means 1.6 million people worldwide were affected.

Tobacco is linked to more than 10 types of cancer, with lung cancer being the most prominent. Studies have shown that 16% of smokers that have used tobacco since they were young develop lung cancer by the age of 60.

People often think other ways to use tobacco, like cigars and hookah, are less toxic. However, this is false. Unfortunately, this creates false confidence in users and a higher risk for people exposed to secondhand smokeThere are no harmless forms of smoking, so you should avoid it at all costs.

You might be interested in: 8 Early Signs of Throat Cancer That You Mustn’t Ignore

2. Lose weight to prevent cancer

Obesity is linked to at least 8 different types of cancer, and the majority are related to your gastrointestinal tract. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), obesity is directly related to:

  • 39% of endometrial cancer cases
  • 37% of esophageal cancer
  • 25% of kidney cancer
  • 11% of colorectal cancer
  • 9% of breast cancer in postmenopausal women

Excessive consumption of red meats and canned foods can be associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer. Therefore, regular physical activity and a healthy diet to keep a healthy weight can help you prevent cancer.

3. Moderate your alcohol consumption

Woman with head on table and glass of alcohol in hand.
Excessive alcohol consumption is also linked to a higher risk of cancer. For this reason, you must moderate your alcohol consumption.

Believe it or not, alcohol consumption is related to oral cancer and 7 other types of cancer. These different types of cancer include breast cancer in women. However, the risk of suffering from any type of cancer is related to the amount you consume.

Estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) attribute around 22% of oral cancer in men and 9% in women to alcohol consumption.

Doctors recommend that men don’t exceed two standard glass of wine or two bottles of light beer a day. Women shouldn’t exceed one standard glass of wine or one bottle of light beer per day.

Discover: Skin Cancer Warning Signs and What to Do About Them

4. Avoid excessive exposure to the sun

Ionizing radiation is carcinogenic to human beings. One type of ionizing radiation is ultraviolet radiation. This is a specific type of light that comes from the sun. Overall, this type of radiation is closely related to different types of skin cancer, mainly melanoma.

According to estimates from 2018, melanoma causes approximately 55,000 deaths annually.

The recommendations from the WHO to avoid the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays are:

  • First, avoid excessive exposure to the sun.
  • Use sunscreen.
  • Finally, wear clothing that covers most of your body to avoid exposure to the sun’s rays.

Final tips to prevent cancer

In addition, there are other measures you can consider when it comes to preventing cancer. For example, you should follow a healthy and balanced diet. Also, you should reduce your sugar consumption and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

Likewise, it’s important to see your doctor regularly and ask for the proper tests, especially if you have any genetic risk factors.

  • OMS | Prevención del cáncer. (2017, August 9). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/cancer/prevention/es/
  • Cob Guillén, E., Cohen Rosenstock, S., & Cob Sánchez, A. (2018). Obesidad y cáncer. Medicina Legal de Costa Rica35(2), 45-53.
  • Zinser-Sierra, J. W. (2019). Tobacco use and lung cancer. Salud publica de Mexico61(3), 303-307.
  • IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans. Ionizing Radiation, Part 1: X- and Gamma (γ)-Radiation, and Neutrons. Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2000. (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 75.) Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK401325/