Although there is ongoing research on how cancer can be prevented, good lifestyle choices including the ones listed below can reduce the risks of cancer.
- Not using tobacco – using any type of tobacco significantly increases the risk of developing cancer including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidney. Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the mouth and pancreas.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables – eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other foods from plant sources such as whole grains and beans.
- Maintain a healthy weight – by choosing fewer high-calorie foods and avoiding refined sugars and fat from animal sources.
- Drink alcohol in small quantities – the risk of various types of cancer including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney, and liver increases with the amount of alcohol one drinks.
- Limit processed meats – eating large amounts of processed meat can slightly increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
- Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active – this may lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon, and kidney.
- Protect yourself from the sun – skin cancer is one of the most common cancers and one of the most preventable. It can be avoided by not staying in the sun for long periods, using sunscreen and covering exposed areas when in the sun and avoiding tanning beds and sunlamps as they are just as damaging as natural sunlight.
- Get vaccinated – cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections including Hepatitis B, which can increase the risk of developing liver cancer and against Human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers.
- Avoid risky behaviours – Another effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviours that can lead to infections, such as practising safe sex and not sharing needles.
- Get regular medical care – regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix, and breast can increase the chances of discovering cancer early when treatment is most likely to be successful.