National Cancer Control Month: Importance of Prevention

By April 13, 2015Archives

There are a myriad of cancer awareness observances in the month of March which makes National Cancer Control Month a little redundant. However, that is not the case. Even as cancer death tolls continue to decline there are plenty of things we still need to do in order to keep cancer at bay. After all, it still is the 2nd most common cause of death in America. Here are some healthy choices you can make in order to decrease your chances of getting cancer.

Visit Your Doctor Annually

Some people have a predisposition to cancer. If there’s a history of the disease in your family it’s best to schedule annual doctor’s appointments. Unfortunately, if that’s the case prevention may be difficult, because you’re genetic makeup puts you at a higher risk for it. However, early detection is key to defeating cancer. If you visit your doctor regularly, chances are he or she is going to discover the abnormality, and the quicker it gets discovered, the more likely you are to beat it. Annual doctor visits is a great way to make sure you’re healthy and a great way to detect if you’re not. Don’t just guess or rest on your laurels. Seek the help of a medical professional if you believe you might be at a higher risk for cancer.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

It’s estimated that over 500,000 people will die of cancer in America. Around one third of those deaths can be linked to an unhealthy weight as well as physical inactivity. Why does an unhealthy weight contribute to a higher risk of cancer? The answer is that being overweight, your body produces more insulin and estrogen, two hormones that can stimulate the growth of cancer.

The good news is there are a lot of ways to maintain a healthy weight. For starters, you can eat well, electing to eat more fruits and vegetables, as well as doing some physical activity for at least 30 minutes everyday. It’s also important to keep track of your BMI (Body Mass Index). This is the ratio between your height and weight. A normal older adult’s BMI should be between 25 and 27, which is slightly higher than a normal young adult’s BMI. The higher BMI can help against osteoporosis.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

Skin cancer is a very common type of cancer. It’s also incredibly preventable. Here are a few tips to prevent melanoma or any other type of skin cancer.

  • Avoid the midday sun without any skin protection. That is when it’s most likely to cause damage to your skin
  • Stick to the shade on sunny days. Along with avoiding heat stroke, you can also avoid getting burnt and increasing your chances at skin cancer.
  • Make sure you cover your exposed areas with sunscreen that has a high SPF or with clothing that are preferably darker in order to reflect more UV rays.
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