Learn how to prevent cancer in your day to day

There are many things you can do to prevent cancer, at least about 50% of cancer cases that, according to the World Health Organization, could be avoided with healthy lifestyle habits. 

For this reason,  at the Spanish Association Against Cancer  we work to prevent cancer and make all the information you need available to you. Don’t you think it’s worth a try? In this post we propose six basic health guidelines with which you can turn your back on many types of cancer. 

Do not smoke

Did you know that there are 15 different types of tumors that are directly related to tobacco use?  The cancer most related to tobacco is lung cancer, but there is also a high incidence in the larynx, oropharynx, bladder, pancreas, mouth, esophagus, liver and bile ducts and stomach, among others. Therefore, a life without smoke is the first step to lead a healthy life that the World Health Organization (WHO) includes in its European Code Against Cancer.

Eat a healthy diet

Avoid being overweight and obese, moderate your fat intake and don’t be shy about increasing your intake of vegetables, fruits and vegetables.  There is scientific evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in fat, as well as avoiding obesity and exercising, can protect against certain cancers. Why? These foods are an important source of minerals, vitamins and elements that act as antioxidants, which prevent cancer (especially colon, endometrial, breast and rectum) and coronary heart disease. The reason is that they are foods that regulate intestinal transit due to their high fiber content; in addition to containing provitamin A, vitamin C and folates. 

The recommended portions are: 

  • Fruit: 2 or 3 servings daily. 
  • Vegetables: 2 or 3 servings daily. 
  • Legumes and potatoes: 1 daily ration.
  • Cereals: 2 or 3 servings daily. 

Practice physical exercise

Practicing daily exercise will help you feel good, be fit and reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer. In addition, exercise causes the body to produce endorphins, chemicals that make us feel peaceful and happy. But don’t think that you need to join a gym or participate in a soccer league. These are small gestures that do not require too much effort. The minimum recommended by the WHO is  half an hour of moderate exercise . This can mean taking the dog for a walk while walking at a good pace, getting off a bus stop before when you go to work … Afterwards, you can increase distances and efforts according to your ability or incorporate some type of more intense exercise (sport, dance, gymnastics…). 

Avoid alcohol

Although the best for cancer prevention is to completely avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is unfortunately a widely accepted drug in our society and is responsible for many health problems, including cancer of the liver, mouth, esophagus, larynx and stomach . We can consider reducing our consumption of alcohol by not having alcoholic beverages at home or by establishing “days without alcohol” such as Monday through Friday, for example. However, as we mentioned at the beginning, for cancer prevention, the best amount of alcohol is none. 

Protect yourself from the sun

Never forget that the skin has memory and that sunburns are aggressive injuries that, repeatedly and in the long term (20-30 years), can lead to cancer. Therefore, good habits of sun exposure from childhood are key . Wear appropriate clothing and accessories to protect the skin; seek shade and do not expose yourself to the sun unnecessarily; and apply sun cream all year.

Finally,  if you are a woman, get Pap smears from the age of 25. The gynecologist does not bite! 


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