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Tips to keep cancer at bay in observance of National Cancer Prevention Month


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Every February, cancer prevention and health communities from all over the United States use National Cancer Prevention Month to offer tips and advice for lowering the risk of the deadly disease with everyday lifestyle decisions. 

Cancer affects tens of millions of people and families around the world, especially in impoverished nations and communities that do not have funds for treatment. 

In 2022, more than 1.9 million people in the United States were diagnosed with cancer, and over 600,000 people died of the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. 

ULTRA-PROCESSED FOOD CONSUMPTION LINKED TO HIGHER RISK OF DEATH FROM OVARIAN, BREAST CANCERS: NEW STUDY

The most deadly form of cancer for the year was lung and bronchus cancer, which killed an estimated 130,000 individuals in the U.S. The second most deadly diagnosis was colorectal cancer, with approximately 52,000 deaths in 2022. 

A combination of important lifestyle tips will may help people reduce their risk of developing a deadly cancer.

Use of tobacco or smoking can cause permanent damage to the body as well as lead to cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, bladder, cervix and kidney. 

For non-smokers, however, being present in an area with secondhand smoke can increase the risk of lung cancer. 

Products such as chewing tobacco, cigars, pipe tobacco and cigarettes are all popular products that contribute to this disease and are extremely addictive.

Individuals seeking to become tobacco-free or to cut down their alcohol usage should seek help at treatment centers or rehab. 

A study published in The Lancet in August 2022 examined cancer cases from 2019 and found that 44% of cancer deaths were caused by preventable risk factors. 

The two leading risk factors were smoking consistently and drinking large amounts of alcohol. 

Both male and female patients experienced the same risk factors. 

The study also attributed smoking and drinking to 42% of disability-adjusted life years, or healthy years an individual loses due to cancer. 

Eating a healthy diet is an essential way to reduce the risk of cancer if it is done on a consistent basis and is full of well-balanced proteins. 

For instance, increasing one's fruit and vegetable intake, as well as consuming more whole grains, can provide enough nutrients to offset other health risks such as obesity and diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

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Avoiding high-calorie foods and sugars and limiting the intake of animal fat are also recommended by health experts. Individuals may reduce their chance of developing certain types of cancer by limiting processed meats in their everyday diets, the World Health Organziation (WHO) says.

Mediterranean diets also have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially for women, and tend to include fish over items such as red meat. 

Skin cancer affects millions of individuals and families across the United States and is one of the most common forms of the disease. 

The Mayo Clinic recommends that individuals wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible when going out into the sun and wear bright or dark colors because they reflect the sun's harmful rays. 

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It's also wise to avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above is considered the best protection even on cloudy days.

Living a sedentary lifestyle, in general, is not good for an individual's overall health and can lead to harmful conditions such as blood clots, obesity, diabetes and risk of cancer in some cases. 

Being physically active allows people to maintain a healthy weight and gives people more energy on a daily basis with the proper diet. 

Being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight category can help lower the chance of breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

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