Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9. 6 million deaths, or one in six deaths, in 2018. Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver cancer are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, cervical and thyroid cancer are the most common among women.
However, research shows that up to 50% of cancer cases and about 50% of cancer deaths are preventable with the knowledge we have today. Prevention and early detection are more important than ever— and are proven, effective strategies to lower health care costs.
You make choices every day that affect your health. Follow our Seven Steps to Prevent Cancer to reduce your risk.
Vaccines (shots) also help lower cancer risk. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and several other kinds of cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine can help lower liver cancer risk.
Exercise fights obesity and lowers levels of hormones like estrogen and insulin, which have been linked to cancer. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise- - the kind that gets your heart pumping- - on most days of the week.
EAT A HEALTHY DIET
Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can' t guarantee cancer prevention, it might reduce your risk.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources— such as whole grains and beans.
Maintain a healthy weight. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high- calorie foods, including refined sugars and fat from animal sources.
A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, concluded that eating large amounts of processed meat can slightly increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
In addition, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra- virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer.
The use of tobacco products has been linked to many types of cancer, including lung, colorectal, breast, throat, cervical, bladder, mouth and esophageal. It' s never too late to quit. About 90 percent of all lung cancer is related to smoking. Non- smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are also at risk for lung cancer and other respiratory conditions.
REGULAR MEDICAL CHECK UP
Regular self- exams and screenings for various types of cancers— such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix and breast— can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening schedule for you.
AVOID UNNECESSARY EXPOSURE TO RADIATION
Get medical imaging studies only when you need them. Check your home for residential radon, which increases the risk of lung cancer. Protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, which increases the risk of melanomas and other skin cancers. But don' t worry about electromagnetic radiation from high- voltage power lines or radiofrequency radiation from microwaves and cell phones. They do not cause cancer.
UNDERSTAND YOUR FAMILY HEALTH HISTORY
You inherited more than your mother' s eyes or your father' s grin. They may also have shared their chances for having diseases like cancer. Some genes that parents pass down to their kids have flaws. They don' t repair damaged DNA the way they should, which lets cells turn into cancer. Learn about your family' s medical history and ask your doctor if a genetic test is a good idea for you.
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