Cancer research is growing by leaps and bounds daily, but unfortunately, there is still no cure, making prevention vital.
Luckily, you can take comfort in the fact that small lifestyle choices do make a big difference in cancer prevention. Ensure you have your healthiest year yet, keep these tips in mind!
1. Use Sun Protection Year Round
Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, posing a threat year round. Snow, water, and sand can all reflect the damaging rays of the sun and increase your risk of sunburn. So if you’re out and about — regardless of the season — be sure to use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
2. Watch Out for Bodily Changes
You know your body better than anyone! So if something seems off, take note.
The American Cancer Society developed this nifty acronym — CAUTION — to help, and while this doesn’t cover everything, it’s a great reminder to report problems to your doctor:
- Change in bladder or bowel habits
- A sore that does not heal
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Thickening or lump in the breast (or elsewhere)
- Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
- Obvious change in a mole or wart
- Nagging cough or hoarseness
3. Limit Red and Processed Meat
Research has shown that eating large amounts of red and/or processed meat can increase your risk of certain cancers, like colorectal. To combat this, limit your intake of red meats to no more than three portions per week and opt for lean, rather than fatty, cuts.
4. Curb Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol, whether beer, wine or liquor, has been known to increase your risk of certain cancer types, like breast, mouth, throat, liver, and more. The risk is higher for those who drink and also smoke!
Step one, quit smoking. Step two, drink moderately — one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
5. Go to Your Doctor Appointments
While it’s easy to push off appointments, regular screenings and exams can help increase your chances of discovering cancer early — often in its more treatable phases. So be sure to schedule your next physical or yearly well woman visit with KMC!
We manage three locations as part of our comprehensive network of family & Internal medicine specialists. To download a new patient registration form, click here, then give us a call to schedule your appointment: 217.762.2115.