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Monday, July 13, 2009

Cancer Prevention - 8 Practical Ways to Prevent Cancer

I knew about cancer since I was a child but it was just another disease to me like chicken pox. It meant nothing to me because nobody in my world then had cancer. But today, cancer has touched my life many times. In fact, it has become so common that more people whom I know personally are diagnosed with cancer.

A family friend even died because of breast cancer and she was only 36 years old. She was also a doctor. "What causes cancer?" was one question that intrigued me. This set me off to read voraciously about the disease. I learned a lot about the real facts on this interesting disease. I also learned that cancer can be beaten.

What are these ways to prevent cancer? They are...

1. Quit smoking

Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancers and lung cancer is the number one cause of death due to cancer. Tobacco is a known carcinogen to humans. Smoking includes cigarettes, cigars and even tobacco that you chew. And it is not only lung cancer that smoking leads to. Tobacco has other negative effects on your health and appearance.

2. Give up alcohol

Do your know that alcohol, regardless of the type of drink, is both a carcinogen by itself and a co-carcinogen to tobacco? Yes, drinking and smoking at the same time are terrible for you. Alcohol doesn't cause just a single type of cancer. It leads to many types of cancer.

3. Avoid second hand smoke

Second hand smoking is far more dangerous than if you smoke yourself. The side stream smoke you inhale is way more toxic than the smoke the smoker inhales with his every puff. Do you know that a synonym for passive is long-suffering? If you are married to a smoker, you are a long-suffering smoker!

4. Eat healthy foods

No less than the National Cancer Institute recommends that fruits and veggies should be a big part of your diet. I was surprised to find out while reading about causes of cancer that there are cancer-causing foods and, horrors! -- I have been eating them all my life.

5. Stop being a couch potato and move

Brisk walking for 30 minutes 3 times a week can help you avoid cancer. Any form of physical activity is one of the effective cancer prevention strategies that will help you maintain a healthy weight. Why should you maintain a healthy weight? A healthy weight is important because being overweight or obese can increase your risk for cancer.

6. Learn to manage stress

Stress is part of our daily life. It's something you can't avoid. Stress may lead to cancer because it suppresses the immune activities of your immune system. It is extremely important that you know how to deal with stress. Learn to not to sweat the small stuff and let go of events, people or anything that you can't change.

7. Protect yourself from cancer-causing viruses and bacteria

HPV is one of the cancer-causing viruses. It is a virus that causes cervical cancer but a vaccine to protect you from this virus is already available. Other cancer prevention strategies against cancer-causing viruses can be as simple as not sharing personal items such as razors and nail clippers.

8. Protect yourself from UV radiation

Do you love getting a tan? Do you think a tan is sexy or healthy? Sorry to disappoint you but a tan is neither sexy nor healthy. When your skin tans, it's your skin's natural defense against the radiation you are subjecting yourself to. Using a broad-spectrum sunblock is one of the effective ways to prevent cancer of the skin. UV radiation not causes only skin cancer, mind you. It also damages your eyes and may cause cataracts.

Remember the old saying "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure?" As I read and learned more, I realized that there is a need for everyone to know what these cancer prevention strategies are because a single cure will never be found for cancer as it is a disease of more than a hundred types.

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