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Seven Steps to Prevent Cancer

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DON’T USE TOBACCO

The use of tobacco products has been linked to many types of cancer, including lung, colorectal, breast, throat, cervical, bladder, mouth and esophageal. It’s never too late to quit. About 90 percent of all lung cancer is related to smoking. Non-smoking who are exposed to secondhand smoke are also at risk for lung cancer and other respiratory conditions.

PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN

Skin cancer is the most common and most preventable cancer in the United States. More than 96,400 people are diagnosed with melanoma annually. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation causes most skin cancer. Be cure to use adequate sun protection year-round. Never use indoor tanning beds.

EAT A HEALTHY DIET

Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Limit red meat and cut out processed meats. It is also important to limit alcohol consumption because alcohol can increase your risk for liver, colorectal and breast cancers. If you drink alcohol, have no more than two drinks a day (if you are man) or or one drink a day (if you are a woman).

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT AND BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day can make a big difference in your general health and well-being. Inactivity and obesity have been linked to breast and colorectal cancer, and there is also some evidence of a link to lung and pancreatic cancer. Add exercise to your routine to reduce stress, increase energy, boost your immune system, control your weight and reduce your risk for cancer.

PRACTICE SAFE SEX AND AVOID RISKY BEHAVIOURS

Many strains of the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, are spread through skin to skin contact during vaginal, anal and oral sex. High risk strains of HPV have increasingly been found to cause many types of cancer. The Hepatitis B VIRUS (HBV) can also be spread from person to person through unprotected sex. It can cause long-term liver infections that can increase a person’s chance of developing liver cancer.

GET IMMUNIZED (HPV & HEPATITIS VACCINES)

Certain viruses have been linked to cancer, but are preventable through vaccination. Talk to your health care professional about the age recommendations for HPV vaccines. In the United States, approximately one-third of liver cancers are linked to the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). An HBV vaccination is available and is recommended for babies, older children who were not vaccinated earlier and adults who are at risk for HBV infection.

KNOW YOUR FAMILY MEDICAL HISTORY AND GET REGULAR CANCER SCREENINGS

Talk to your health care profession about cancer screening. Some tests can help detect cancer early, when treatment is more likely to be successful, and can also detect precancerous conditions before they become cancer. While screening has been proven to save lives, screening guidelines are not always “one size fits all”.

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