Wellness and prevention begin by taking care of yourself and taking simple steps towards better health. Healthy choices such as eating right, staying active and keeping on top of your screenings can help reduce your risk of cancer. To learn more about the power of prevention and early detection, as well as simple steps you can take to practice wellness, please take a look at the information and resources we’ve provided below. Below, we’ve provided information and resources to help you navigate the recovery path ahead.
What You Need to Know About Prevention & Early Detection
For the ACS Guidelines For Early Detection, please click here.
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February is National Cancer Prevention Month
Did You Know?
Approximately 18% of cancer diagnoses are due to the combined effects of excess body weight, alcohol use, not being physically active, and an unhealthy diet. There are a few healthy choices that you can make to help reduce your risk of cancer.1
- Prioritize Screenings. Don’t forget to schedule regular screenings, which can lead to early detection of cancer. Early cancer detection can reduce mortality from various cancers, including breast, cervix, colon and rectum, prostate, and lung.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Excess body weight can increase your risk of certain cancers. Approximately 11% of cancers in women and 5% in men are attributed to excess body weight.1
- Get moving! Research shows that physical activity can decrease the risk of various cancers, including colon, breast, kidney, endometrial, bladder, esophageal stomach, and possibly lung cancer.2,3,4 It’s recommended that adults engage in 150-300 minutes of moderately intense activity (brisk walking, dancing, etc.) OR 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (jogging, etc.) weekly.5 Try and limit your sedentary activities such as sitting and lying down, as well.
- You are what you eat. Approximately 4%-5% of cancer diagnoses can be linked to poor nutrition.1 Diets that prioritize various fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish or poultry, and fewer red and processed meats are correlated with a lower risk of cancer.6,7 Added sugars can also lead to weight gain or obesity, which can cause ~13 different cancers.2
- Nix the alcohol. Approximately 6% of cancer diagnoses are linked to alcohol use1, which increases risk of various cancers such as those of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectal, and breast.2 Updated ACS guidelines recommend that you avoid alcohol altogether to reduce your risk. If you do drink alcohol, try and limit consumption to no more than 2 drinks/day (men) and 1 drink/day (women).5
- Stay safe in the sun. Most melanoma diagnoses can be linked to exposure to excessive UV rays from the sun or tanning devices, with 91% of melanoma cases attributed to UV exposure between 2011-2015.8 Don’t skip the sunscreen and make sure you also wear protective clothing. Regular skin exams are also important!
- Prevent HPV. You can protect yourself against HPV, which spreads through intimate skin contact and is usually asymptomatic. Almost all cervical cancers, 90% of anal cancers, ~ 70% of oropharyngeal cancers, and 60%-70% of vaginal, vulvar, and penile cancers are caused by persistent HPV infections.9 Although there isn’t a treatment for HPV, it can be prevented. Talk to your doctor about the HPV vaccine and other preventive measures.
We’ve curated additional cancer prevention resources to help you access important information regarding healthy lifestyle choices. You can just select your condition and choose the prevention option. Resources can be filtered by the medium you prefer, whether it’s a book, website, hotline, podcast, online community, mobile app, among others!