You cannot predict the future, but you may decrease your cancer risk by making wise lifestyle choices:
1 Change your diet. Good nutrition could prevent more than one-third of all cancers and may help those already diagnosed with the disease. The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests:
- eating a low-fat diet that is high in beans, grains and fruits and vegetables (at least five servings a day)
- eating less red meat (18 ounces or less per week) and less processed meat, such as bologna, hot dogs and bacon
- drinking alcohol in moderation
- limiting salt intake
2 Get help to quit smoking. Cigarette smoking accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths, but your risk decreases within minutes of quitting. Your physician can recommend strategies to help you kick the habit.
3 Get active. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity daily – either all at once or spread throughout the day.
4 Limit your sun exposure. Guard against sun damage by using sun screen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, avoiding the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., wearing sunglasses and protective clothing and staying out of tanning beds. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends inspecting your skin monthly for any changes in skin color or moles.
5 Get recommended cancer screenings. They are one of the best ways to prevent cancer – or catch it early when it may be the most treatable. Important screenings include Pap tests and mammograms for women, and testicular exams for men. Men and women ages 50 and older are also advised to get screened for colorectal cancer.
Taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle can lower your risk for cancer and other health conditions and help you feel your best.
Screening for lung cancer: What you should know
Recent draft recommendations by the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force call for low-dose CT scanning for people who are at high risk for lung cancer, including those who are:
- current or former smokers between the ages of 55 and 80, with no symptoms of lung cancer
- active smokers with a history of smoking at least 30 pack years
- former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years
Baptist Beaumont Hospital is leading the way in lung cancer screening by offering a new Low-Dose CT Screening Program for those who are at high risk for the disease. Speak with your physician to find out if you are eligible for this lifesaving test. To schedule an appointment, call (409) 212-7167.