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The Best Ways to Prevent Cancer

Cancer is a disease that affects many people. Many cancer-causing agents have been
identified by researchers. Most forms of cancer can be prevented by making some basic lifestyle changes, such as exercising and eating healthy, avoiding sun exposure and refraining from tobacco use. Smoking is a bad habit.

Avoid Tobacco
1. Tobacco, in the forms of cigarettes, chewing tobacco and snuff, is the most common cause of cancer deaths in developing countries (30 percent), according to the Mayo Clinic's website (see References below). Second-hand smoke also can increase your risk of lung cancer, so avoid exposure.

Stay Active
2. Being overweight or obese may increase your risk of certain types of cancer, experts at the Mayo Clinic warn (see References below). Physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight and lowers your risk of certain cancers.
prevent cancer, healthy food, avoid smoking
Eating Healthy
3. Although the foods you eat won't prevent you from getting cancer, eating healthy has been proven to drastically decrease the risk. Limit your fat intake since high-fat, high-calorie diets tend to lead to obesity, which can increase the risk of cancer. Instead, fill your diet with fruits and vegetables (at least five servings a day). These will help you lose and maintain your weight. If you do decide to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
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Beware of the Sun
4. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and exposure to the sun is the primary cause. However, it's also one of the most preventable types of cancer. The Mayo Clinic (see References) suggests that you avoid going outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., peak hours for radiation exposure. When you do go outside, stay in the shade, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 15), and wear clothing and hats to protect your arms, legs, face and ears. Don't use indoor tanning beds or sun lamps.

Immunize and Avoid High-Risk Behaviors

5. There are some viral infections linked with cancers that can be easily prevented by immunizing. The World Health Organization (see References) warns that certain infections are passed on through risky behavior (mainly sexually or through sharing contaminated needles), which will increase chances of cancer. This includes Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B and C, and Human Papillomavirus (or HPV).

Regular Screening and Self-Examination

6. Experts at the Mayo Clinic (see References) say that, while doing this won't prevent cancer, it will increase the likelihood of cancer being detected early on, which will increase the chances of successful treatment. Be aware of changes to your body, and see your doctor if you notice any.

By Sarah Jackson
eHow Contributing Writer
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