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Five Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

If you could make just five simple lifestyle adjustments and lower your risk of dying from cancer, would you do it?

You can and you should!

Experts estimate that between one-third to one-half of all cancer cases can be prevented by modifying certain daily habits that increase our risk of developing cancer. Making changes to these habits can potentially reduce the risk of developing cancer.

Did you know a third of all cancers are preventable? Here are five simple lifestyle changes you can make that could considerably lower your cancer risk!

  1. Reduce your consumption of alcohol

Reducing your consumption of alcoholic beverages or cutting them out entirely can significantly lower your risk of several forms of cancer. Alcohol “has now been associated with five to six types of cancer,” Dr. Ernest Hawk, head of the Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences division at the University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, told Fortune magazine. “We used to think there was a cardiologic benefit, but that’s largely been refuted.”

  1. Don’t smoke, and try to stay clear of secondhand smoke

Smoking is bad for your health—especially for your lungs. That’s not news. But despite widespread knowledge of the fact, 14% to 15% of the population still smokes. Besides being linked to lung cancer, smoking can also lead to other types of cancer like pancreatic and bladder. Secondhand smoke can also be deadly. It’s responsible for nearly 7,500 lung cancer deaths annually among US adults who don’t smoke, according to the CDC. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke increase their lung cancer risk by 20% to 30%. So avoid it like the plague.

  1. Lose weight and get regular exercise

Experts say that losing weight and staying active will improve your heart health and help keep your blood pressure under control and reduce your risk of developing cancer in the future.

  1. Minimize sun exposure and avoid tanning beds

When it comes to sun safety, cancer experts recommend the following:

  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Avoid going out in the heat of the day.
  • Wear sunscreen every day.

Also, avoid artificial tanning beds; they can be just as dangerous or even more so than the sun since the UV rays in such devices is more intense and focused directly on your skin.

  1. Know your family’s risk

The experts all agree that even if it is uncomfortable, it is good to know if you have a history of cancer in your family. But it’s particularly crucial to be aware of cancer history among first-degree relatives—parents, siblings, and children. If you have relatives with cancer, let your primary care provider know.

You’ll likely be screened earlier than recommended and maybe more often for that type of cancer – this is particularly true with breast and prostate cancer that do have genetic predispositions.

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