Cancer Control encompasses all aspects of prevention, detection, treatment and support. Choosing a healthy lifestyle is a key component to protecting yourself against cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends the following lifestyle conventions in order to reduce your cancer risk:
Eat a variety of healthy foods, with an emphasis on plant sources. A well-balanced diet includes generous amounts of foods that are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and low in fat. This includes eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, choosing whole grain foods and limiting consumption of red meats. It is important to choose foods that help you maintain a healthy weight through out life.
Adopt a physically active lifestyle. Adults should engage in moderate activity for at least 30 minutes on five or more days per week. Children and adolescents should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity five or more days per week.
When drinking alcohol, limit your intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink a day for women. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits.
The best way to lower the risk of skin cancer is to avoid intense sunlight for long periods of time. It's best to avoid the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Cover up with protective clothing to guard as much skin as possible when you are out in the sun. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears and neck. If you choose a baseball cap, remember to protect your ears and neck with sunscreen. Wear sunglasses with 990-100 percent UV absorption to provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin. Remember to protect your skin on cloudy or overcast days because UV rays can travel through clouds.
In the U.S., tobacco causes nearly one in five deaths, killing more than 440,000 Americans each year. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in this country. Tobacco kills more Americans than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides and fires combined. Smoking accounts for more than 85 percent of all lung cancer deaths. Cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco are not safe substitutes for smoking cigarettes. Smoking a cigar or pipe increases the risk for cancers of the oral cavity, lung, larynx, esophagus and pancreas. The use of smokeless tobacco causes cancer of the mouth and throat. Exposure to secondhand smoke accounts for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in healthy nonsmokers.
Nearly 8.9 million Americans are cancer survivors due in part to the early detection of their cancer. If cancer is not prevented, early detection offers the greatest chance for survival. Recognizing symptoms, getting regular checkups and performing self-examinations are key components of early detection. Currently, screening procedures are available for cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, testes, oral cavity and skin. The American Cancer Society estimates the five-year survival for these eight cancer sites would increase from 82 percent to over 95 percent if these cancers were diagnosed at a local stage through regular cancer screenings.