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Cancer is becoming a more prevalent disease with every passing year. In fact, research has shown that over the course of the next decade, the odds will increase to one in every three Americans battling some form of cancer in their lifetime. While advances in research and treatment are seeing a higher than ever success rate at remission, the prospect of facing such a dangerous disease can still be worrisome. However, there is much you can do to help protect yourself and your family by lowering your risks for developing cancer. In addition, keeping your body at its healthiest can also be critical to your success if you ever do face cancer diagnosis and treatment.

 

 

Start With a Healthy Diet Rich in Clean Foods

It’s no secret that many synthetic and processed foods, as well as refined sugars, have been linked to increased cancer risks. In fact, artificial sweeteners and nitrates found in many salty or cured foods are known carcinogens, although usually only at extremely high levels. Fortunately, many companies are removing many of these unnecessary artificial ingredients from their products. Those who eat a high-fiber diet rich in fruits and vegetables are less likely to develop cancer. Many ongoing studies have shown that those who consume organic foods decrease their cancer risk as well. Make sure you’re eating real, natural foods and choose organic whenever possible.

 

 

Monitor Drug and Alcohol Use

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer in adults. If you smoke, get the help you need to quit and make sure to keep yourself and your family away from second-hand smoke as well. Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to cancer, so limit your intake to responsible levels or eliminate it altogether. When it comes to over the counter or prescription drugs, make sure you discuss all of your options with your doctor. There may be alternative methods worth exploring before you commit to a medicinal regimen.

 

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Consider Genetic Testing or Early Screenings

While there are plenty of external factors that can impact your personal risk level for developing cancer, many cases come down to genetic conditions that are beyond your control. Genetic testing, which has been vigorously researched by experts like Dr. Harry Stylli, can help identify abnormalities or compositions in your DNA that may be connected to certain types of cancers and other serious diseases. Information from DNA testing can identify high-risk individuals, prompting them to participate in regular screenings. In the case of most cancer diagnoses, early detection can make all the difference in a successful treatment plan.

 

 

Choose Natural Products Whenever Possible

Constant exposure to harsh chemicals and synthetics can take a toll on the human body. Many of these ingredients are found in everyday products around your home. As stated above, choose foods that are whole instead of highly processed and opt for organic and non-GMO products. When it comes to personal care, look for products with only natural ingredients, or save some money and make your own. When cleaning at home, choose lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and essential oils for a healthy, economical solution that’s better for the environment too. If you do need to use harsher cleaners, make sure to use gloves, wear a mask and rinse the area thoroughly.

 

 

Lose Excess Weight and Maintain an Active Lifestyle

Obesity is second only to cigarette smoking when it comes to causing cancer in adults. Those who are chronically overweight should begin a weight loss program to help protect against cancer and improve their overall quality of life. While switching your diet can help you make serious progress in cancer prevention, regular, rigorous exercise is also important. It not only aids in weight loss but also helps keep the cells of the body healthy by removing toxins, promoting circulation and flooding the body with life-giving oxygen.

 

 

Get Smart About Sun Exposure

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of the disease, and excessive sun exposure is usually the culprit. Sunscreen should be part of your daily regimen, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors on a regular basis. Choose a moisturizer that’s made with SPF 30 to protect your face and neck on a daily basis and all other body parts that are usually exposed. However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t avoid sunlight altogether. It’s an excellent source of vitamin D and a major force in combating depression. Plus, the benefits of enjoying the fresh air while you’re outdoors can have a positive impact on your health.

 

The threat of cancer can be anxiety-inducing in many individuals, but it’s important to remember how far science and medicine have come in successfully treating this disease. However, you can still take action to set yourself and your family up for success by making positive choices for a brighter and healthier future.

 

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Over 50 and fabulous living and writing in Appalachia

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