Five Things You Need to Change to Prevent Cancer

By Deanna Evenbeck

Cancer can be a very frightening thing to have. The majority of us at least know someone who has battled cancer and can understand what a difficult battle it can be to fight. Cancer is caused by mutations in our body’s cells. We hear claims almost daily about certain products or foods that can cause cancer, but the list is almost endless. The fact is, there are specific things that you can do to help prevent cancer from developing in your body. Although these are not a one hundred percent guarantee that you will never develop cancer in the future, these things can significantly decrease your chances of getting cancer later on.

 

Our cells contain DNA and this DNA instructs our cells on how to grow and divide. When the cells receive the wrong instructions, this is where the problem begins in the body. The cells become mutated and can become cancerous and grow at a rapid pace spreading to other areas of the body. Many things are available to attempt to stop these mutated cells from growing however, many times the mutated cells can not be stopped or they continue to reoccur. Treatment for cancer can be expensive and painful and there is no cure to rid cancer completely from the body or stop it from coming back in the future. This is why it is vital to take specific steps in an attempt to stop mutated cells from developing in the first place.

 

  • Don’t smoke. We hear about the negative effects of smoking cigarettes on a daily basis and cancer is one of them. Cigarette smoke is the number one cause of preventable deaths in the United States and is the reason behind one-third of cancer related deaths. Smoking cigarettes increases your chances of developing lung cancer, throat, kidney, pancreas, bladder, prostate, and colon cancer. Is it really worth it? If you currently smoke, take small steps to eliminate cigarettes from your life so that you can live a longer and healthier life. There are many products available to help you through the process of quitting smoking cigarettes, so use them if you need to. Your health depends on it.

 

  • Stay in the shade. Being in the sunshine for prolonged periods of time puts you at significant risk of developing skin cancer in the future. The majority of skin cancer cases appear on places that get the most exposure to sun such as the ears, neck, face, lips, and the backs of hands. Many researchers believe that sitting in the sun for long periods of time is one of the worst things you can do to your body. If you are going to be outside in the sun be sure to wear sunscreen that has a 15 SPF or higher. Children should also be protected with sunscreen; those who have a severe sunburn as a child are more susceptible to develop skin cancer when they are older. Even on a cloudy day, you are not protected by the harmful rays of the sun, so ensure that you take the proper steps to protect yourself whenever you are going to be outdoors for a significant amount of time.

 

  • Get moving. Exercise has a plethora of health benefits including decreasing your risk of developing cancer in the future. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week and your odds of developing colon and breast cancer are reduced significantly. If you are new to exercising, start out slow doing maybe 10 minutes a day and slowly increase the amount of time you spend exercising until you are getting an adequate amount. Not only will you reap benefits such as weight loss and gaining more energy, you will also be putting yourself at a lower chance of developing cancer.

 

  • Eat healthy. Take a good look at your diet and analyze it to see how many healthy foods you are consuming in a day. Stay away from junk food and add more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Colorful vegetables along with fruits and whole grain foods are shown to decrease the chances of cancer. Vegetables work as an antioxidant working to keep the cells healthy and working properly lessening the chance of them becoming mutated.

 

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that people who are obese are at a higher risk of developing various types of cancers. If you are overweight, find a diet plan that you can stick with to lose the pounds and keep them off. The more overweight you are, the higher chance you have of developing cancer down the road. If you eat healthy and add exercise into your daily routine, you should find that the pounds will begin falling off. This will not only make you feel better physically and mentally, it can lengthen your life by decreasing the odds of cancer development.

 

This list includes only a few things that you can do to decrease your risk of developing cancer in the future. Other things you can do to prevent cancer include adding fresh garlic to your diet, limiting alcohol, drinking only filtered water instead of water straight out of the tap, drinking plenty of water, limit exposure to radiation (including xrays), drinking green tea, and getting immunized.

 

Although none of these things guarantee that you will never develop cancer, they can significantly decrease your chances of having it in the future. Living a healthy and active lifestyle are key for staying healthy, strengthening your immune system and possibility lengthening your life. If you feel that you are not living a healthy lifestyle, odds are you are probably right. Take a good look at your current lifestyle and the habits that you have developed over the years and see what kind of positive changes you can make. Becoming healthier will make you feel better both mentally and physically, plus you will become more confident knowing that you are doing something good for yourself.