Some of your lifestyle habits may be related to your chances of developing cancer. Identify what they are and keep an eye out for them.
- To avoid the use of tobacco. The use of any type of tobacco is related to several types of cancer, such as: lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Avoiding tobacco or deciding to quit is important in cancer prevention.
- Eat a healthy diet. Try to base your diet on fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods. Also, eat lightly and choose fewer high-calorie foods. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Alcohol increases the risk of developing several types of cancer, including breast, colon, lung, kidney, and liver cancer. Limit the consumption of processed meats.
- Be physically active and maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining the body at a healthy weight and doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily helps reduce the risk of different types of cancer such as breast, colon, prostate, lung, and kidney.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and one of the most preventable, you can try the following: • The sun’s rays are strongest between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm • If you are in the air free, stay in the shade as much as possible. • Wearing loose fitting and close-knit clothing helps cover most of your skin • Try to cover your skin with broad spectrum sunscreen even on cloudy days. Sunbeds and sunlamps are just as harmful as natural sunlight.
- Beware of viral infections. Cancer prevention includes protection against certain viral infections such as hepatitis B (which increases the risk of liver cancer) and the Human Papilloma Virus HPV (which can cause cervical and other genital cancers).
- Go for regular check-ups. Regular self-exams and exams for various types of cancer (such as skin, colon, cervical, and breast cancer) can help your chances of finding cancer early if it occurs.
- Vaccines (injections). Vaccines also help reduce the risk of cancer. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and some vaginal and vulvar cancers. The hepatitis B vaccine can reduce the risk of liver cancer.
Family medical history
To act early it is important to collect your family medical history, which are the registry of diseases and conditions that have run in your family. Members of your family may share genes, habits, and environments that affect your risk for cancer.
So what information do I need?
Gather information from yourself and from the following family members:
• Parents and grandparents.
•Sisters and brothers.
•Daughters and sons.
• Aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
The information should include:
• Who had cancer and the type of cancer.
• How old they were when they were diagnosed with the disease.
• If they still live. If not, how old were they when they died and the cause of death.
How do I collect information on family medical history?
Take time during family gatherings to ask about your family’s history of cancer. Respectfully ask them to help you find the missing information and confirm what you remember. Also, check your family’s funeral records or notices.