Doctors understand that genetics can play a role in your risk of developing cancer. Our genetics can’t be changed, but other lifestyle changes are effective in preventing cancer. There are several things you can do to reduce chances of developing cancer.
Avoid Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs
Tobacco use causes lung and oral cancers and have been associated leukemia, bladder cancer, and esophageal cancers. Excessive consumption of alcohol has been known to cause throat, liver and stomach cancers. Avoid tobacco and consume alcohol sparingly if you must. Intravenous drug abusers are at high risk for hepatitis and HIV infection which can lead to cancer.
AIDS patients are susceptible to many types of cancer, in part, due to the depression of normal immune response. Taking the precautions necessary to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS is a good first step towards reducing your cancer risk. It is important to get vaccinated against hepatitis B and C as they have been shown to increase risk of liver cancer. Exposure to blood and body fluids increases its risk, so health care personnel should be especially committed to getting immunized to hepatitis.
Job and Sun Exposure
Buildings no longer use asbestos, but those who demolish old buildings may be exposed to asbestos and should wear secure masks while working. Asbestos, which has been known to cause mesothelioma in Philadelphia and elsewhere, presents a serious danger to those exposed to it. Occupations that expose workers to chemicals are required to provide adequate ventilation and protection according to the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Nearly everyone is exposed to natural sunlight on a daily basis, another known cause of skin cancer. The use of sunblock should be as much a part of daily life as getting dressed. Use lotions that contain a sun protection factor of 30 on all parts of exposed skin. Make sure the product protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Diet and Exercise
Eating vegetables and fruit for vitamins and antioxidants contribute to restoring healthy cells. Consuming fish and plants rich in natural monounsaturated fats are part of a healthy diet. Avoid highly processed foods as much as possible and exercise regularly.
There are many factors that can damage the DNA in cells, which may cause normal cells to become cancerous. Understanding those factors is key to reducing cancer risk.