Can cancer be prevented?
More than a million of people in the United States get cancer each year.
Cancer is a disease in which cells grow and divide with little or no control.
There are many different types of cancer. Cancers are typically named for the organ or the cell where the cancer begins.
Some cancers can spread from the original site and move to other places in the body. Cancer can grow and spread around the body, making treatment more difficult.
Tips to prevent cancer
Lifestyle changes: There are things you can do that can help reduce your cancer risk:
- Quitting tobacco
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Getting more exercise
- Cutting back on alcohol and red meats
- Staying at a healthy weight.
- Being safe in the sun
- Early detection can save lives
Eat healthy and stay active. Research has shown that poor diet and not being active are factors that can increase people’s cancer risk.
Getting to and staying at a healthy weight is important to reduce the risk of cancer and chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Try to control your weight, a good first step is to watch portion sizes, especially of foods high in calories, fat, and added sugars. Also try to limit your intake of high-calorie foods and drinks.
Read food labels to become aware of portion sizes and calories. Be aware that low-fat or non-fat does not necessarily mean low-calorie.
Eat smaller portions when eating high-calorie foods.
Choose vegetables, whole fruit, legumes such as peas and beans, low-calorie foods instead of calorie-dense foods such as French fries, potato chips, ice cream, donuts, and other sweets.
Limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit-flavored drinks.
When you eat away from home, try to choose food low in calories, fat, and added sugar, and avoid eating large portion sizes.
Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat.
Choose fish, poultry, or beans instead of red meat (beef, pork, and lamb). If you eat red meat, choose lean cuts and eat smaller portions. Prepare meat, poultry, and fish by baking, broiling, rather than by frying.
Limit your intake of processed meats such as bacon, sausage, lunch meats, and hot dogs.
Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits each day. Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
Include vegetables and fruits at every meal and snack. Put emphasis on fruits and vegetables; choose 100% juice if you drink vegetable or fruit juices.
Limit your use of creamy sauces, dressings, and dips with fruits and vegetables.
Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products. Choose whole-grain breads, pasta, and cereals (such as barley and oats) instead of breads, cereals, and pasta made from refined grains, and brown rice instead of white rice.
Limit your intake of refined carbohydrate foods, including pastries, candy, sugar-sweetened breakfast cereals, and other high-sugar foods.
Overweight or obese people who lose weight have reduced levels of certain hormones that are related to cancer risk, such as insulin, estrogens, and androgens.
Being active helps reduce your cancer risk by helping with weight control. It can also help improve your hormone levels and the way your immune system works.
Stay away from tobacco.
People who drink alcohol should limit their intake. Drinking and smoking together raises the risk of these cancers far more than the effects of either drinking or smoking alone. Many studies have found a link between alcohol intake and the risk of developing certain cancers.
Be safe in the sun. The risk of melanoma, a more serious but less common type of skin cancer, is also related to sun exposure, although perhaps not as strongly. Skin cancer has also been linked to exposure to some artificial sources of UV. Studies have found that people who use tanning beds have a higher risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, and squamous and basal cell skin cancers.
Early detection can help save lives. Some cancers can be found early, before they have had a chance to grow and spread. Screening increases the chances of detecting certain cancers early, when they are most likely to be curable.
Other methods you hear about may be herbs, vitamins, other dietary supplements, health tonics, or special diets that are supposed to boost the immune system, among many other things.