How Can I Prevent Cancer?

Just yesterday my wife made mention of what we will be doing when we are eighty years old. My first though was that that is a long time from now. The second thought was that many people are not alive at the age. It also gave me time to again reflect on the increasing number of our population who are living well into their twilight years. I have been truly astonished by the number of patients I see who are in their later years and truly functional. They drive, care for themselves and live independently. This is the key word because I have many patients who are confined to their bed in their home and require full time twenty four hour care. Cardiovascular disease and cancer are clearly major factors when we look at the quality of life as we get into our later years. What is the secret, what is the reason that some of us are able to be more healthy at this time than others? Why do some of us get cancer? How do I prevent cancer?

What is cancer?

Cancer is a term used for diseases that involve abnormal cells dividing without control and are are able to invade and destroy other healthy tissues and organs. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymphatic system. There are reportedly over 100 different types of cancer. Both genetics and environmental exposure are important when it comes to the risk of cancer. The most common cancer we all talk about include: colon, cancer, breast, lung, skin, prostate and cervical cancers.

How Can Cancer Be Prevented?

The number of new cancers can be reduced and many deaths prevented. This occurs by using screening tests that can help detect precancerous cells and then prevent the development of a cancer. In addition, early detection can also help to discover a cancer at an early stage that is more treatable.

The following is a list of the top things we can all do to help prevent cancer or at least detect it early:

  • Don’t use tobacco.
  • Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Limit Fat intake.
  • Maintain a Healthy weight.
  • Be physically active. The more the better.
  • Get appropriate immunizations. Hepatitis B vaccine can help prevent liver disease and the human papilloma virus can be associated with a growing number of cancers. There now is a vaccine available for both boys and girls.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure.
  • Get regular medical care. This will enable you to get timely screenings and check ups to help prevent cancers.

Hopefully, by following the recommendations above we can all live long and maintain our quality of life also.

Contact our office for a free cancer screening consultation.

Darryl A. Hill, M.D.FACP