Is it possible to avoid the risk of cancer?

The short answer is yes, you can reduce your risk of cancer by adopting a healthy lifestyle. However, it cannot be avoided 100%, since there are risk factors that cannot be controlled, such as genetics.

Cancer risk factors

Risk factors can be divided into three main categories:

  • Genetic factors: Some people have a higher risk of this disease due to inherited genetic factors. For example, people with a family history have a higher risk of developing that type of cancer.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to certain environmental factors, such as tobacco, alcohol, radiation, and pollution, can increase the risk. For example, tobacco is the main risk factor, and exposure to ionizing radiation, such as solar radiation or X-ray radiation, can increase the risk of skin cancer.
  • Lifestyle factors: Diet, exercise, obesity and being overweight are lifestyle factors that can increase risk. For example, a diet high in saturated fat and trans fat may increase the risk of colon cancer, and obesity may increase the risk of breast, ovarian, and colon cancer.

Healthy habits to reduce risk

By adopting the following healthy habits, you can reduce your risk:

  • Give up smoking: Tobacco is the main risk factor for this disease. Quitting smoking is the best way to reduce your risk.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol can increase the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and throat.
  • Keep a healthy weight: Obesity and overweight They increase the risk of several types of cancer, such as breast, ovarian, and colon cancer.
  • Exercising regularly: Exercise can help reduce the risk of several types of cancer.
  • Eating a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce the risk of several types of cancer.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: Excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer.
  • Get vaccinated: Vaccines against HPV, Epstein-Barr virus, and human papilloma virus They can help prevent several types of cancer.

specific examples

Here are some specific examples of how healthy habits can help reduce risk:

  • Diet:
    • A diet rich in fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage. It is recommended to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
    • Whole grains: Whole grains are rich in fiber, which may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. It is recommended to choose whole grains instead of refined grains.
    • lean proteins: Lean proteins, such as fish, chicken, and legumes, are a good source of lean protein. It is recommended to choose lean proteins instead of red and processed meats.
    • Low-fat dairy: Low-fat dairy is a good source of calcium, which can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer, such as breast cancer.
    • Limit consumption of red meat: Red meat is high in saturated fat, which can increase the risk of colon cancer. It is recommended to limit red meat consumption to no more than 3 ounces per day.
    • Limit consumption of processed meat: Processed meat is high in nitrites and nitrates, which can increase the risk of stomach cancer. It is recommended to avoid processed meat.
    • Limit consumption of sugary drinks: Sugary drinks are high in calories and sugar, which can increase the risk of obesity, which is a risk factor for several types of cancer. It is recommended to limit your consumption of sugary drinks to no more than 4 ounces per day.
  • Exercise:
    • Regular exercise: Exercise can help reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and prostate cancer. It is recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week.
  • Sedentary:
    • Obesity and overweight: Obesity and overweight increase the risk of several types of cancer, such as breast, ovarian and colon cancer. It is recommended to maintain a healthy weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  • Tobacco:
    • Smoke: Tobacco is the main risk factor for cancer. Quitting smoking is the best way to reduce your risk.
  • Alcohol:
    • Excessive alcohol consumption: Alcohol can increase the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and throat. It is recommended to limit alcohol consumption to no more than one glass per day for women and two glasses per day for men.
  • Solar protection:
    • Excessive sun exposure: Excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer. It is recommended to use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, wear sunglasses with UV protection and a wide-brimmed hat, and avoid the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, when sunlight is most intense.