What Are Some Key Cancer Risk Factors I Should Be Aware Of?
John W. Seymour, Pharmacist
Some of the most common risk factors for cancer include sun exposure, aging, tobacco use, exposure to chemicals and radiation, alcohol consumption, family history and a poor diet. Some causes of cancer can be prevented, but others, such as family history or aging, cannot. Research indicates up to 15 percent of all cancers may come from a family history.
Avoiding potential causes is the simplest method to help prevent cancer. You can reduce your risk of developing cancer by quitting smoking, watching sun exposure (use sunscreen), following safety precautions when working with dangerous chemicals, drinking in moderation and eating a balanced diet.
What we eat can greatly influence how healthy we are and how healthy we will be in the future. Diets low in fat and high in fiber, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, may help lower our cancer risk, especially in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.
Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Choose unprocessed, plant-based foods such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta or beans several times per day. Limit your intake of high-fat foods and limit your consumption of meat, especially high-fat meats. Try to restrict red meats to one serving per day. Limit your consumption of alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. You should also strive to be physically active, and achieve and maintain a healthy weight. While there is no guarantee you will not get cancer, this is a good prescription to keep you healthy and reduce your risk.
The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent that of AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation. The content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat any health condition and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health professional.
March 1, 2020