Cancer Prevention: Seven Tips to Reduce Your Risk - PIH Health

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Published on July 10, 2017

Cancer Prevention: Seven Tips to Reduce Your Risk

Cancer Prevention: Seven Tips to Reduce Your Risk

Cancer is responsible for nearly one out of every four deaths in the U.S.1 The good news is that at least one-third of all cancer cases are preventable2 by making certain lifestyle choices. If you are concerned about cancer, PIH Health Oncologist Dustin Stevenson DO recommends the following strategies:

  1. Get regular medical care. Your physician will make sure you’re up-to-date on your cancer prevention screenings. Your personal family history and current health problems may also put you at risk for certain cancers, which your physician can monitor.
  2. Avoid tobacco. Using tobacco is the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer mortality worldwide. In fact, about 70% of the lung cancer burden can be attributed to smoking alone. The best idea is to never use tobacco at all. If you already smoke, it’s never too late to quit.
  3. Limit alcohol use. People who drink a lot have a higher risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer. Some studies have found that drinking one glass of wine a day may increase the risk of breast cancer. PIH Health’s recommendation: drink in moderation (one to two drinks per week).
  4. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables (especially vegetables filled with nutrients such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower) are good for breast health. Foods high in antioxidants (like dark berries) can decrease cancer risk, and diets high in fiber are good for colon health.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight. Eating a low-fat diet and less red meat (no more than one to two servings per week) are both good cancer prevention strategies. High-fat foods increase the risk of breast cancer and frequent consumption of red meat is linked to colon cancer.
  6. Limit exposure to UV rays. A high level of ultraviolet (UV) exposure, including usage of tanning beds or prolonged sun time without sunscreen, increases the risk of skin cancer. However, you shouldn’t stay out of the sun completely. Your body needs some natural sunlight to make Vitamin D, which is linked to decreased cancer risk. Therefore, limit time in the sun to 10-15 minutes per day.
  7. Stay physically active. Regular exercise is always good for the body, but is also good for cancer prevention. Decreasing your overall percentage of body fat can reduce your risk of breast cancer, and reducing belly fat can decrease your risk of colon cancer. PIH Health’s recommendation: take a brisk walk, 30 to 40 minutes, three to four times per week.

1 American Cancer Society

2 World Health Organization (

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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