Cancer diagnoses are usually a combination of genetic factors and your unique lifestyle, such as dietary choices, physical activity (or lack thereof), and exposure to environmental toxins. Here are some tips to lower your cancer risk.
Individual choices are probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about what raises your risk of cancer. For example, you’re not shocked to hear that an acquaintance has lung cancer if you know that he smoked a pack a day for 30 years.
- Stop smoking
Smoking doesn’t just cause lung cancer. It increases your risk of liver, kidney, stomach, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers as well.
- Drink alcohol in moderate amounts
Alcohol has been linked to several GI cancers, including esophageal, colorectal, and liver cancers.
Your diet can also have a big influence on cancer prevention.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Studies have shown a link between obesity and several types of cancer. It can cause acid reflux, which increases your chances of esophageal cancer, and overweight individuals are also more likely to get colorectal cancer.
- Get plenty of exercise
Physically active people have a lower risk of certain cancers, specifically colorectal cancer.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
A diet full of fruits and vegetables decreases your cancer risk. These foods are high in antioxidants, which fight the cell damage that can lead to cancer. Fruits and veggies (and whole grains) also contain fiber, which lessens your chances of colorectal cancer.
- Avoid red and/or processed meat
Research has shown a link between heavily processed meats and some types of cancer. Nitrates (found in lunch meat, ham, hot dogs, and bacon) can raise your probability of colorectal cancer.
Be Proactive and Get Screened at Tulsa Endoscopy Center
If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with cancer, the best thing you can do is get screened early and often. The earlier cancers (or precancerous conditions) are detected, the better your prognosis.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness month. Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, yet 40 percent of people who are at-risk don’t get screened. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, are experiencing symptoms or are age 45 or older—you’re at-risk. It’s time to get screened. Contact Tulsa Endoscopy Center today to schedule your colorectal cancer screening.