A doctor’s response to: “How can I avoid cancer?”

Cancer. It’s arguably one of the most heartbreaking diseases in the field of medicine. There are nearly 100 different types of cancer, and almost half a million people die every year because of it. Everyone knows someone who has had cancer, and the struggle of cancer is challenging not only for the patient but for the family and friends as well. Considering these grim statistics, a lot of patients will ask doctors, “How can I avoid getting cancer?”. Listening to this question as a doctor is sometimes a struggle. Some cancers can’t be avoided and inevitably as people get older they will get cancer. However, 4 in 10 people can prevent cancer right now in their daily lives just by switching their lifestyle choices. Let’s explore these 7 simple lifestyle switches to avoid cancer.


·      Don’t smoke


Smoking is terrible, and no one should ever partake in this activity. Smoking is known to cause nearly 14 different cancers, and there are no healthy benefits of smoking. So why even start? By simply not smoking, it’s the #1 most preventable way to prevent cancer.


·      Cut back on alcohol


This one is hard to convince people to do. Even though alcohol can cause 7 different types of cancers, people avoid the fact that it can be cancer causing. You don’t have to cut back entirely on alcohol, having 1 or 2 servings a day is perfectly fine. As you get older, try and cut back on bingeing.


·      Eat a healthy diet


The best way to prevent any health problem is to eat real food. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, these are all real food, not processed. Any doctor will tell you that this is the key to preventing disease.


·      Exercise often


Another tip that doctors say go hand in hand with eating right is to exercise. With busy schedules it can be hard to find the time to work out, but it must be done. Exercising is the way to kill cancer causing cells that come from excess fat. Make time to exercise at least 4 times a week.


·      Enjoy the sun responsibly


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, caused by UVA and UVB light given off by the sun.  It is best to always wear at least SPF 15 sunscreen when outside, and to always be near the shade from the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM when the suns rays are the strongest. As well as this, never go to a tanning bed, the UVA and UVB rays are much stronger when in a tanning bed.


With all this being said, there is no magical pill for curing or preventing cancer. The way to prevent cancer is by leading a healthy lifestyle. It is ok to indulge in things that aren’t healthy for us, but to always do this in moderation. 

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