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Cancer Prevention: What You Can Do

It is estimated that some 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in the coming year. Some 500,000 people will die from cancer-related causes. Prevention, however, can hold the key to dramatically reducing those numbers. The American Institute for Cancer Research, in fact, believes that roughly a third of all cancer cases can be prevented if people take the right steps in advance.

Here are just a few of the actions people can take to help lower their risks for developing cancer:

• Know personal risks – One of the best first steps to take in lowering risks is working with a primary care physician to identify personal risk factors. While not every risk factor can be addressed, such as family history or gene mutations, many can.
• Eat right – Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can both make a very big difference in lowering cancer risks. Proper diet and weight can play a crucial role in preventing obesity-related cancers and other conditions that go along with being overweight.
• Exercise – Engaging in physical activity on a regular basis is also plays an important role in lowering cancer risks. Exercise helps keep the body healthy while preventing obesity and a host of serious health conditions.
• Make smart lifestyle choices – Tobacco use is strongly linked to a number of different types of cancer. Avoiding its use entirely or kicking the habit if it’s a concern can make a very big difference. It is also best to avoid overuse of alcohol.

It is estimated that about a third of all Americans will be affected by cancer at some point in their lives. While not every case is wholly preventable, many are. Taking proactive steps to maintain health and weight can go a very long way. To find out more about cancer risks and prevention, talk with a doctor for case-specific advice.

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