Research shows at least 42 percent of the nearly two million new cancer cases that are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year are potentially avoidable. While not all cancers can be prevented, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing certain cancers.
You cannot control risk factors such as aging or a family history of cancer, but you can choose to form healthy habits that may reduce your cancer risk. Healthy choices can help to balance the internal struggle of the formation of cancer and your body’s ability to dismiss or eliminate the cells that lead to cancer.
Though cancer impacts millions of Americans every year, you can make positive changes to support your health now and in the future, such as:
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Participating in regular physical activity
• Refraining from using tobacco products
• Limiting consumption of alcohol
• Protecting your skin when outdoors
• Keeping vaccinations up-to-date and treat infections
• Keeping up with regular cancer screenings
If cancer screenings are done regularly, they can help to find cancer in its early stages. And when cancer is caught early, treatments are more likely to succeed. Plus, early detection through screening can reduce mortality from certain types of cancer. In fact, cancer mortality rates have declined in recent decades due in part to screening technologies and advanced treatments.
Everyone is at risk of developing cancer, but you can mitigate your risk by living a healthy lifestyle, keeping up with regular screenings, and discussing your cancer risk with a primary care provider (PCP). Your PCP can identify your risk factors and create a personalized screening plan for prevention purposes.
If you are in need of a PCP, visit physicians.stclair.org/primary-care to find an experienced, board-certified provider within the St. Clair Medical Group network.