“This post is sponsored by the American Cancer Society; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.”
Almost everyone you know has been touched by cancer in some way, shape or form. Whether it was or is battling it yourself, experiencing the hardship with a loved one or friend or finding ways to reduce your risks of being diagnosed, cancer impacts everyone in some way and that is why I am proud to work with the American Cancer Society to share helpful ways you may be able to reduce your risk of getting cancer..in honor of National Cancer Prevention Month. Of course in no way do these tips + findings guarantee a clean bill of health, but they may help to reduce your risk.
Cancer has touched my life in so many ways. Before I was born my mom was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She was told she would lose all her hair, die + never have kids – well luckily she proved that doctor wrong and beat cancer and now she has three wonderful kids to show for it. My grandmother has had breast cancer a couple of times + my boyfriend’s sister passed away from leukemia at just 18 years old. This has become reality for so many people and their families. It truly breaks my heart and if there is ever anything I or my friends or family can do to help reduce the risk of being diagnosed with cancer, I am all for it.
According to the American Cancer Society about 42% of cancer cases and 45% of cancer deaths in the US are linked to modifiable risk factors and in some cases are preventable. This doesn’t apply to everyone but if there are ways I can reduce my risk and the risk of others around me, I definitely want to do what I can to prevent increasing my chances.
Here are some helpful tips on ways you may be able to reduce your risk of cancer:
Maintain a Healthy Weight Through Exercise + Eating Healthy
As I have gotten older I really started paying attention to my health and am continuing on my weight loss journey not just to look better but also feel better and reduce my risk of diseases. It’s been found that obesity or being overweight increases your risk of many cancers.
I personally have been dieting for the past 6 months following a healthy diet plan. Whether it is tweaking your daily calorie intake or making easy swaps between sugary drinks and snacks to sugar free items, every little change adds up to a healthier you!
It is also strongly recommended to get moving throughout the day + work up a sweat. Whether it is parking far in the parking lot, going for walks on your lunch break, taking the stairs, whatever you got to do to get your heart rate pumping really helps decrease your risks.
Avoiding Tobacco and Limiting Alcohol
I personally don’t smoke or drink, especially after hearing what those close to me went through. Limiting alcohol and not smoking can really change your health and life.
Alcohol use has been linked to various types of cancer so limiting your intake of alcohol whether it is how often your drink or the amount you consume can truly help with cancer prevention. (The ACS recommends no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.)
Smoking is a leading cause of certain types of cancer so living a smoke free life can dramatically cut your risks of cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, and is one of the hardest cancers to treat. Not only does smoking increase the risk for lung cancer, it’s also a risk factor for cancers of the mouth, kidney, liver, bladder, pancreas and more.
I have to admit when I was younger I didn’t always take the best care of my skin. I have since learned the importance of protecting your skin from the sun etc to reduce risks of diseases like cancer.
Some ways to protect your skin include: No matter what the weather conditions, you should always use sun protection when you’re outdoors; Sun exposure adds up day after day, and happens every time you’re in the sun – even if it’s a little cloudy or chilly outside. Also, seek the shade, cover up (with sunglasses, clothes and a wide-brim hat, use SPF 30+).
Most skin cancers are a direct result of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. When it comes to UV rays, you should also avoid man-made sources of it, like tanning beds.
And don’t forget to GET SCREENED
Screening can catch some cancers early, improving the chances for successful treatment. Check out the American Cancer Society’s full screening guidelines!
I encourage everyone to follow these tips because anyway we can reduce our risks of getting cancer, the better we all can be. You can also visit the American Cancer Society’s ”Stay Healthy Information” for a full list of tips!