Cancer is a horrific disease affecting many people and their families around the world. The statistics are sobering, it is estimated that 1.48 million new cases of the disease were diagnosed in 2009. Approximately 562,000 Americans are expected to die from it, and it currently ranks as the seconds leading cause of death. Once you have been directly or indirectly exposed to the destruction cancer can cause, you begin to understand the importance of prevention.
There are many conflicting reports about what is effective in cancer prevention, and while the science is still developing there are some known lifestyle choices that can provide great benefit. Unfortunately, many of us know first hand how important cancer prevention is. Here are some practical tips and advice that may be of service:
- Talk to your doctor about the effects of tobacco and the importance of diet and exercise. It is also essential to discuss sexual health, as some risky behaviors can lead to certain types of cancer.
- Stay safe in the sun – More than one million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the US each year. Stay in the shade as much as possible, wear protective clothing and use a SPF.
- Watch out for exposure to BPA – short for bisphenol A, it’s an industrial chemical/synthetic estrogen that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960’s. Although more studies are needed, it may increase the risk of reproductive system cancers.
- Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes (such as beans)
- Limit consumption of red meats (including beef, pork, and lamb) and avoid processed meats
- If you drink alcohol, limit your daily intake to two drinks for men and one drink for women