Cancer is the #2 killer in the United States and claims the lives of approximately 7.6 million people around the world every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
You can take steps to cancer proof your body by implementing everyday activities and habits right now.
If we don’t take steps to guard ourselves from this threat, the World Health Organization (WHO) believes this number will climb by as much as 80% by 2030.
If you think there is nothing you can do to prevent cancer…think again.
WHO estimates that of those who die from cancer annually, one-third are 100% preventable and one-third could be prevented with early detection and treatment.
Almost 70% of all cancer is lifestyle related. That means cancer develops because of our choices – not just “bad luck” or genetics.
Director of the Cancer Institute of New South Wales, Blythe O’Hara, had this to say: “We don’t have to leave it to fate. [We] have the power to reduce [our] cancer risk by up to two-thirds: eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, protect your skin and eyes from the sun, exercise and don’t smoke.”
Top 10 Tips to Cancer Proof Your Body Right Now
- Eat the darkest leafy greens you can find. Magnesium-rich chlorophyll provides certain vegetables their color; the darker the leaves, the more nutrients they contain.You can preserve those nutrients – even enhance them – by lightly steaming.Sprinkling with olive oil and gently sautéed garlic, or mixing them in with an antioxidant-rich salad will ramp up the overall benefits. Boiling or microwaving gets rid of most of the good stuff.
- Choose organic whenever possible. Environmental pollutants are becoming more common and the levels we’re exposed to daily are increasing. Avoid genetically modified foods, cattle and animal products treated with antibiotics and hormones, as well as fruits and vegetables subjected to insecticides. Always wash foods well and peel whenever necessary.
- Pre-marinate meats for no less than one hour before grilling This prevents heterocyclic amines (HCAs) from forming at high temperatures – such as with charred or well-done meats. HCAs are known risk factors for cancer. A study out of Kansas State University found grillers can reduce HCAs by as much as 87% if you include thyme, basil, oregano or rosemary in your meat marinade.
- Don’t give up your coffee…or tea. Both have been shown to be helpful in preventing brain cancer, breast cancer, oral cancer and various other forms of cancer – though coffee is the more powerful tonic. British scientists have found that coffee drinkers can reduce their cancer risk by as much as 40%.
- Love the sun…responsibly. The natural supply of vitamin D-3 in our skin can only be activated by the sun. Vitamin D-3 has been proven to protect against many varieties of cancer– including breast and skin cancers!
It also increases your chances of surviving melanoma skin cancer.Exposing your skin for 15-20 minutes three mornings (before 11:00am) each week activates the natural cancer fighter we carry around with us. If you’re going to stay out longer than half an hour make sure you bring sunscreen and a hat. Sun responsibly! If you have fair skin or live in an extremely hot or cold environment, consider taking a vitamin D-3 supplement.
- Hydrate…it seems so simple. Our bodies consist of two-thirds water. In order for our systems to run efficiently we must maintain proper hydration. Chronic dehydration is 100% preventable and is estimated to affect more than 70% of the United States population.
Not getting enough water can lead to fatigue, weight gain, respiratory issues, high blood pressure and cholesterol, digestion trouble, bladder and kidney distress, skin disorders and premature aging.
Chronic dehydration makes your body sluggish and inefficient.Women should drink no less than 70 ounces daily and men should drink no less than 90 ounces daily. Scientists believe drinking the correct amounts of water flushes possible cancer-causing particles from your system.
- Sweat out those toxins. According to a Canadian study, women who exercise at least 30 minutes every day decrease their ovarian cancer risk by 30%! You also encourage your digestive system to work more efficiently and remove waste from your body at a faster rate.Exercise benefits your total body – from your mood to circulation to respiration – so adding regular activity into your daily routine is health smart. Stick with anything, even an exercise program for 2-4 weeks, and your brain considers it a habit.
Being sedentary, overweight or obese increases your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. According to the American Cancer Society, obesity is directly linked to 20% of female cancer deaths and 14% of male cancer deaths. Losing as little as 10 pounds can lower your cancer risk.
- Quit smoking…you know it’s bad for you. The risks associated with smoking are well-documented.Yes, lung cancer is the most well-known consequence, but you will also drastically increase your risks of developing mouth and throat cancer as well as breast, cervical, liver and prostate cancers to name a few.
Smoking impairs your body’s ability to heal itself but if you quit, your body will immediately begin to repair the damage.According to the WhyQuit.com Recovery Timetable, within 8 hours of giving up smoking the nicotine in your blood drops more than 90%. Within 12 hours, your blood oxygen levels return to normal. Within 48 hours, damaged nerves begin to repair and regenerate, restoring your true sense of smell and taste.In 72 hours, you test nicotine-free, the bronchials in your lungs begin to relax and lung function starts to improve. Within one year your risk of heart disease and stroke drops to half that of a smoker, and within 15 years your body and disease risk matches that of a person who has never smoked.
- Cut back on the fat in your diet According to a study released by the United States National Cancer Institute, animal fat from red meat and animal products such as butter, cheese, milk and ice cream increases your risk of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is often fatal, but you can lower your risk by reducing the amount of animal fat in your diet.
Researchers collected data from more than half a million people who completed a survey and participated in the six-year study. Men who consumed high amounts of animal fat in their diets increased their cancer risk by 56% and women increased their cancer risk by 23% compared to those who consumed the least amount of fat.
Substitute dangerous fats with healthy fats such as fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds, olives and avocados. These healthy fats contain excellent compounds for your body such as omega-3, vitamin E and selenium, and help your body absorb other nutrients more efficiently.
Studies have shown that consuming monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats decreases your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and inflammatory disorders such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
- Don’t ignore your body. Pay attention to pain, unusual bloating, discoloration of fingernails and toenails, skin tags or moles that change color.Know what your breasts look and feel like. Check your breasts regularly – this cannot be stressed enough – and have breast exams done by your doctor every two years in your 20s and 30s as well as a pap smear done every three years. After age 50, both genders need to add screening for colorectal cancer.
If you have a family history of cancer have your own genes tested for abnormalities. Those with a genetic predisposition should consider having a yearly MRI done along with their mammogram. The two methods together were able to detect 94% of tumors while successful detection for either screening alone was almost half.
Visit the American Cancer Society and utilize their tools on evaluating your lifetime cancer risk and additional methods of prevention. Develop a good relationship with your health care provider and make sure he’s listening to what you have to say.
Remember, one-third of diagnosed cancer is 100% preventable and the best “cure” for any disease is not to get it in the first place. Start doing your part today to cancer proof your body. Click here for additional cancer fighting tips including The Top 10 Natural Cancer Cures Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You.