There are many things that women can do to prevent cancer! Reducing your risk of cancer is easier than you think. Simply changing some lifestyle habits can go a long way in preventing many types of cancer.
1) Avoid Smoking and Secondhand Smoke
We hear a dozen times a day how bad cigarettes are for us and the risk of lung cancer. Why? Because smoking is the most significant risk factors for cancer that we can reduce. Did you know that smoking increases your risk factor for devloping dozens of types of cancer?
2) Practice Safe Sex and Limit the Amount of Partners You Have
Having unprotected sex with many partners raises your risk factor for contracting a virus called the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV for short. HPV has been linked to several different types of cancers, mainly cervical cancer. It is estimated that almost 80% of women have HPV.
3) Get Regular Pap Smears
Getting a regular Pap smear can detect changes in the cervix before they become cancerous. A regular Pap smear is one of the best tools a woman has to prevent cervical cancer.
4) Pass on that Last Call for Alcohol.
Studies have determined that women who drink alcoholic beverages develop cancer at a higher rate. How much is too much? Based on studies, ladies who consume 2 to 5 drinks daily have about 1½ times the risk of women who don't consume alcohol.
5) Get Moving.
Did you know that when you are exercising, you are reducing your risk for many types of cancer? The American Cancer Society recommends exercising 30 or minutes, at least 5 days a week! Exercising doesn't mean having to go to the gym to lift weights.
6) Eat a Low Fat, Sensible Diet.
Eating a diet low in animal fats has been shown to reduce the irsk of many types of cancer. It also curbs obesity, which is a risk factor for many types of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential!
7) Be Sun Savvy!
Using suncreen properly and staying out of the sun during peak hours is essential to preventing skin cancer. If you are looking for a tan, try some tanning alternives like cosmetic bronzers and self tanning creams. New forumlas don't leave your skin looking orange.
8) Know Your Family History of Cancer
Knowing your family history of cancer is very important to properly assess your risk factor for certain types of cancer. We know that cancers like breast, colon, ovarian, and possibly other types can be hereditary.
If you know that a certain type of cancer runs in your family, let your doctor know. Together, you can determine a proper screening plan and assess your true risk factor. Genetic testing and counseling are available for some.
Lisa Fayed- is a freelance medical writer, cancer educator, and patient advocate.
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