Can Lifestyle Choices Reduce Your Risk for Cancer?
Did you know that some types of cancer are preventable? In fact, experts believe as much as one third of all cancers could be prevented by making good lifestyle choices.
February is National Cancer Month, and we are sharing possible changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, you can reduce your risk factors by:
- Avoiding tobacco: Most people know that research links smoking to lung cancer. But tobacco use of any kind can increase your risk for many kinds of cancer ranging from throat cancer to bladder cancer. Avoid using or being exposed to cigarette smoke, cigars, and smokeless tobacco.
- Limiting alcohol: Excessive use of alcohol can also increase your risk of developing cancer. The more you drink, the higher your risk for cancer of the throat, liver, breast, mouth, and esophagus. Talk with your primary care physician for advice on how much alcohol you can consume without increasing your risk.
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Obesity is linked to breast, colon, rectal, endometrial, kidney, and pancreatic cancers. Maintaining a healthy weight can lower your risk, so try to set a goal to exercise once a day and eat a well-balanced diet.
- Avoiding ultraviolet (UV) radiation: Exposure to UV radiation causes skin damage that can lead to skin cancer. Always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 when you’re outdoors or riding in the car. Also avoid using sunlamps and tanning beds to reduce your risk for skin cancer.
- Cautious use of hormone therapy: Some studies link menopausal hormone therapy with increased risk for breast and endometrial cancers. While it may be necessary for some women, make sure you carefully discuss the risk factors and other options with your doctor.
Nutrition and Aging
As we grow older, our nutritional needs change. While most older adults require fewer calories, they often need to increase their intake of vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and fiber. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a program called MyPlate that helps older adults reduce their risk for disease by ensuring that nutritional needs are met.
At Sunrise, our chef-prepared meals are nutritious, delicious, and designed to support the dietary needs of older adults. Visit our Dining at Sunrise page to learn more.