There are two types of risk factors that increase your chances of getting cancer: risk factors that you can't control and risk factors that you can control.
Risk factors you can't control include age, gender, family history and race.
Controllable risk factors include lifestyle choices that place you at
greater risk of getting cancer. These include:
Other risk factors include exposure to carcinogens, such as radon,
asbestos, benzene, arsenic, hormones and pollution. Also avoid excess
- tobacco usage (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, secondhand smoke),
- alcohol consumption
- lack of exercise
- exposure to too much sun
You can reduce your risk of getting cancer by following these
- Eat a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits and
vegetables. Limit your consumption of alcohol, high calorie food,
fried/grilled food, and food high in dietary fats. Avoid red meat and meat treated with growth
- Try to maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise for at least 60 minutes a day. Try to walk more instead
of driving. Climb
the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Put an exercise bike in
front of the television and ride it while you watch TV.
- Minimize exposure to the sun, especially from 10 am to 2 pm. Wear
sunscreen with a rating of at least SPF 15. Avoid tanning beds and
other sources of UVA/UVB exposure.
- Stop smoking. Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes and cigars all
cause lung cancer, as well as stomach, liver, pancreatic, bladder, and
kidney cancers, and also leukemia. Secondhand smoke can also cause
- Get screened as directed by your doctor, and perform monthly
breast self exams and testicular self exams. Early detection is the
key to survival for many types of cancer.
Copyright © 2005-2009 by Mark Kantrowitz. All rights reserved.
Suggestions and corrections are welcome and should be sent to