February is National Cancer Prevention Month
February is National Cancer Prevention Month, an annual event that raises awareness to unite the world’s population in the global fight against cancer. In honor of these national and international initiatives to increase awareness and empower individuals to live healthier lives, we’re sharing tips on the most effective ways to protect yourself against cancer.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
What do we mean by that? The American Cancer Society recommends eating a variety of healthy foods with an emphasis on plant sources. Aim to eat a minimum of five servings of fruits or vegetables each day. Appropriate levels of physical activity will vary from one individual to another, but a common general rule is to be active in some way for a minimum of 30 minutes each day.
Diet, Exercise, and Body Mass
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) estimates that around 1/3 of cases of the most common cancers in the U.S. could be prevented by eating a healthy diet, remaining active, and maintaining a lean weight. For some common types of cancer, however, the estimated rate of prevention is much higher. For example, the AICR estimates that making these simple lifestyle changes could prevent 59% of endometrial cancers and 47% of colorectal cancers.
Obesity is a significant health issue in many countries across the world, including the United States. Obesity is linked to increased risk of several different types of cancer, including bowel, uterine, esophageal, kidney, and breast cancers. You can find guidance from the Centers for Disease Control on what constitutes a healthy weight here.
Tobacco use is the single greatest preventable cause of cancer worldwide, responsible for an estimated 22% of all cancer deaths. While most people associate tobacco with lung cancer, it is also linked to cancers of the mouth, throat, cervix, pancreas, kidneys, and stomach. Even if you’ve been using tobacco for many years, you can still enjoy significant health benefits by quitting now.
While there is some evidence that moderate alcohol intake can bestow some health benefits, there is no doubt that overdoing it is harmful. Alcohol consumption is linked to increased risk for several types of cancer, including mouth and throat cancers, liver, pancreatic, and breast cancer.
While many of us don’t give it much thought during these colder months, limiting exposure to UV radiation, such as from the sun and tanning beds, is an important part of preventing skin cancers. Additionally, wearing sunscreen will help to prevent the damage from sun exposure.
At Eastern Radiologists, we not only strive to provide health resources that empower you to live a healthier life, but we are the experts when it comes to cancer screenings. In addition to lung and breast cancer screening, our diagnostic imaging helps to screen for all cancers. Our team of Interventional Radiologists offer various cancer treatment procedures as well.
We pride ourselves in being your partner in the process of detecting and preventing cancer.