Not all cancers are preventable, but the earlier in life you adopt healthy habits, the better your chances of warding off the disease down the road. Here, Pawan Grover, MD, a physician who specializes in interventional spine treatment and a medical correspondent for CNN, NBC and CBS, explains the top seven things you can do to avoid cancer diagnosis.
1. Avoid all forms of smoking. “Some people are under the impression
that smoking cigars and hookah are safer than smoking cigarettes, but
the fact is that all smokable products contain carcinogens,” Grover
2. Eat a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables. Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat, and opt for whole grains over refined grain products.
3. Try to adopt healthy coping tools for dealing with stress, such as meditation and writing in a journal. “Stress weakens your immune system and can allow cancer cells to proliferate,” Grover says.
4. Be active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week (or a combination of the two).
5. Maintain a healthy weight. You want to be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight, Grover says. If you are overweight, losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.
6. Limit sun exposure. The American Cancer Society recommends using the catchphrase “Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap” as an easy way to remember how to protect your skin from the sun: Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat and wrap on sunglasses.
7. Drink in moderation. For men, this means limiting yourself to no more than two drinks per day, and one per day for women.