Know what you need to do: six tips to reduce cancer risk

Agnesian Cancer Center Unveil

Written by: Chrissy Boe, Wellness Coordinator at Agnesian HealthCare

Though there are many types of cancer, all cancers begin from a mutation of a normal cell. Mutations begin to occur when a cell does not die as it should and new cells continue to produce when the body does not need them. The extra cells may result in a tumor or spread throughout the body and metastasize.

1)      Tobacco Use: The American Cancer Society estimates smoking accounts for over 30 percent of all cancers. Staying away from tobacco or quitting smoking may strongly reduce smoking-related cancers such as kidney, lung, esophageal, bladder and kidney cancer.

2)      Take Cover: Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer; it also happens to be one of the most preventable.

  • Seek shade mid-day, between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun is the strongest
  • Wear clothing that covers and protects exposed skin
  • Wear a hat to protect face, ears, head and neck
  • Use an SPF of 15 or greater
  • Avoid indoor tanning

3)      Diet: Research has found that eating a variety of vibrant colors found in fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, kale, papaya, cauliflower, broccoli, blueberries and blackberries, will provide your body with vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy compared to boxed processed foods.  Aim to replace white starchy foods such as white bread, white pasta, white potatoes with fiber rich sources instead such as whole grain bread, brown rice and sweet potatoes.

4)      Avoid Carcinogens: Being exposed to chemicals in the workplace and through cleaning products such as gasoline, diesel exhaust, arsenic, coal products, mustard gas, formaldehyde, phenols and ammonia are all carcinogens known to cause cancer. Talk to your employer about limiting exposure and use safer cleaning supplies at home.

5)      Preventive Exams: Having regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancer, such as skin, colon, prostate, cervix and the breast can help detect cancer early, making treatment much more likely to be successful.  Talk with your provider about the best screening schedule for you.

6)      Get Active: Physical activity helps manage weight, maintain healthy bones, and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.  Adults should aim to get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more days a week.

About Agnesian HealthCare Cancer Care Services

Agnesian HealthCare Cancer Care Services brings cancer care closer to cancer patients. With offices in Fond du Lac, Ripon, and Waupun, there is no need to travel far to get the most advanced technology and treatment.

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