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Cancer occurs in the body when abnormal cells divide and multiply, invading tissues and causing damage. The exact causes of cancer are not completely understood and cases are often associated with a combination of genetic predisposition, environmental influences, and behaviors. However, controlling lifestyle factors that contribute to cancer development has shown to have some effectiveness in preventing cancer development.

1. Avoid Tobacco

Tobacco use and smoke exposure have been linked to the development of many different types of cancers. Any of the tissues and organs that regularly come into contact with chewed or smoked tobacco, such as the mouth, throat, lungs, and larynx are at high risk for cancer development due to the carcinogens in the products. Quitting use of tobacco products and avoiding smoke exposure can help to begin decreasing cancer risks almost immediately.

2. Eat Conscientiously

Many fruits and vegetables contain anti-cancer agents that can help to protect cells. Eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed meats, which have been associated with increased cancer risks, can help to keep the body healthy. Limiting alcohol intake has also been shown to reduce risks of certain cancers. Eating conscientiously will have immune boosting benefits, as well, which may help to ward off infections and ailments that can lead to cancer development.

3. Protect Against Sun Dangers

Exposure to UV rays can contribute to the development of skin cancer. To mitigate risks, sunscreen has shown to have some impact, but staying out of direct sunlight when the sun’s rays are the strongest and covering up exposed skin are even more effective. Since tanning beds have shown to pose the same risks as natural sunlight, avoiding tanning beds can also help to reduce cancer risks.

4. Stay Active

Physical activity helps to keep the blood flowing and the cardiovascular system healthy, allowing oxygen and nutrients to be distributed to the tissues and organs of the body. Regular physical activity can also help to maintain a healthy weight, reducing cancer risks that have been associated with obesity. Approximately 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is recommended for optimal health and wellness.

5. Get Screened Regularly

Both self examinations and screenings by a medical professional can help to reduce the risks of being seriously affected by cancer. By regularly checking skin for abnormal marks or moles and breasts for lumps or changes, you are more likely to detect certain types of cancer early. By attending regular check-ups and recommended screenings, your doctor may catch other types of cancers in early stages and take action quickly.

Some preventative screenings may even be covered by insurance! For information about obtaining health insurance to help you reduce your cancer risks, call today.