This article is the part of a monthly series of stories focused on cancer issues. Denver7 is proud to partner with the American Cancer Society, Cancer Support Community, Colorado Cancer Coalition and Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HealthONE to bring you these stories, tips and resources.
There are several things that can be done to reduce the risks for many types of cancers.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, about 20 percent of cancers diagnosed in the United States are related to poor nutrition and physical inactivity. The American Cancer Society Guidelines for Nutrition and Physical Activity encourage people of all ages to be active throughout each week and to consume vegetables, fruit and whole grains. The American Cancer Society has more information on being healthy and incorporating healthy habits into your routine on their website.
Following recommended cancer screenings is another way to help detect cancer early, before it spreads. The American Cancer Society has guidelines for various cancer screenings based on age. It’s important to also know your family history and share that information with your physician.
Staying away from tobacco is another component to good health. Once someone quits tobacco, the effects can be noticeable right away. Heart rate and blood pressure drop 20 minutes after quitting. Circulation and lung function improve within two weeks to three months after quitting. Around one year after quitting, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half of that of someone who stills smokes. Quitting can be challenging and the American Cancer Society can help. For resources visit cancer.org or 1-800-227-2345.
Protection from the sun, no matter what the season, is also important. Most skin cancers are caused by increased exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. A lot of that exposure comes from the sun, which is why it’s important to protect your skin. Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing along with wearing a hat and sunglasses can help limit exposure. For more information visit the American Cancer Society's Be Safe in Sun page.