Tips for Avoiding Cancer

Learn what you can do to avoid cancer

We know that your chances of developing cancer can be affected by the choices you make everyday. Lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your chances of developing cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends these cancer prevention tips.

Eat a healthy diet

Eat a plant-based diet of fruits and vegetables, including beans and whole grains. Limit fat from animal sources and choose leaner selections. Obesity can increase cancer risk and cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver also increases with the amount of alcohol you drink.

Don't use tobacco

Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, bladder, cervix and kidney. And chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.

Be physically active

In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes or more of physical activity in your daily routine.

Protect yourself from the sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer and one that can be prevented. Avoid midday sun and stay in the shade. Wear a hat and sunglasses, cover exposed skin and don’t forget to use sunscreen. Tanning beds are just as damaging as natural sunlight.

Get immunized

Protect yourself from certain viral infections. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain high-risk. The human papillomavirus (HPV)  is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers.

Avoid risky behaviors

Limit your number of sexual partners, and use a condom. People who have HIV or AIDS have a higher risk of developing cancer. Sharing needles with an infected drug user can lead to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C — which can increase the risk of liver cancer.

Get regular medical care

Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, prostate, 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.

West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, Limited English Proficiency or sex, including discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotyping or pregnancy in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by WTH directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which WTH arranges to carry out its programs and activities.