Virtually all individuals are interested in ways to lower their risk of cancer. A disease that afflicts millions of Americans each year, it has a poor prognosis in some cases, regardless of advancements in medical technology. For this reason, prevention is the best course of action to avoid this devastating illness.
An American Heart Association study completed in 2011 found that an individual’s risk of acquiring cancer increases by almost 50 percent if he or she is obese. This percentage is slightly higher in women, especially if they are over their ideal weight by 25 pounds or more. Overweight people are specifically at risk for cancers of the liver, breast and colon. In addition, a sudden gain of more than 20 pounds after age 18 places both men and women at a higher risk for the disease, even if the weight was eventually lost. For this reason, maintaining an ideal weight throughout one’s life is a good way to lower his or her risk of certain cancers.
Once considered a harmless activity to help individuals relax, it is now widely known that smoking causes cancer. Putting carcinogens into the lungs and exposing the bladder to sulfur and tar, ingredients in cigarettes, on a regular basis significantly increases a person’s risk of developing a malignancy.
Hazardous materials in the environment are arguably responsible for more types of cancer than scientist at first believed. Therefore, anyone who lives near manufacturing plants, municipal waste land or similar areas may be at a higher risk for developing certain cancers. The Environmental Protection Agency can offer advice to individuals who live in such regions. Additionally, consumers can invest in detox programs and supplements designed to enhance the function of the lymphatic system, and possibly lower their risk. It’s important that people are trained by National Environmental Trainers to clean up hazardous waste and contaminated sites.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and beta-carotene, the latter of which is a type of vitamin A–have the potential to prevent free radicals and cell division that lead to malignancies. Antioxidant rich foods include green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and tea and coffee. Supplements can be found in most health food stores or online, as well.
The folate in green leafy vegetables also helps the body to repair damaged cells, and subsequently prevent malignancies. Folate assists the body to break down and eliminate free radicals and toxins that can potentially lead to cancer. Fortunately, folate supplements are easy to find in most stores.
According to medical researchers, exposure to radon gas can have the same malignancy-causing effect as tobacco cigarettes, with a catastrophic effect on lung tissue. In fact, it is the first hazardous substance medical professionals inquire about in lung cancer patients who do not smoke. Testing for and eliminating radon in one’s home is the best way to prevent radon-caused malignancies.
Although there is no one, foolproof way to avoid cancer, eliminating the aforementioned risks can certainly lower one’s chances of contracting the disease. Those who want additional health information should speak to their primary care practitioner.