What Are 10 Ways to Prevent Cancer?

Medically Reviewed on 1/9/2023
Cancer Prevention
Cancer is a medical condition in which cells grow out of control and crowd out normal cells.

Cancer refers to illnesses in which groups of abnormal cells proliferate and spread to other organs. The blood and lymphatic systems allow these cells to spread throughout the body.

Many risk factors for cancer are beyond your control, including age, genetics, family history, and even environmental hazards. However, living a healthy lifestyle lowers your risk of developing other major diseases and increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

Cancer awareness is crucial because survival rates improve when cancer is detected and treated early. Prevention of cancer is always preferable to therapy.

10 ways to prevent cancer

  1. Get screened
    • Continue yearly available screening tests, such as pap test, mammography, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test after consulting your doctor if you are at high risk of developing cancer.
    • Certain faulty genes that cause cancer can run in the family and are passed on to children from parents.
    • The pap test and PSA can detect cellular alterations before they turn malignant, and mammography can detect breast cancer in its early stages.
    • The ideal age for colon cancer screening is 50 years.
    • Certain cancers are more than 90 percent treatable if identified early.
    • About 5 to 10 percent of cancers are inherited. You must know about your family's medical history and get a genetic test done to assess your risk of cancer.
  2. Quit smoking and alcohol
    • Tobacco
      • Tobacco smoke contains over 7000 compounds, at least 250 of which are toxic and 69 of which cause cancer.
      • Tobacco smoking is the single biggest preventable risk factor for cancer mortality worldwide. It kills almost 8 million people each year from cancer and other disorders.
      • Tobacco use, whether smoking or chewing can cause mouth, throat, and pancreatic cancer. Staying away from tobacco or quitting using it is a vital step toward cancer prevention.
    • Alcohol
      • Many cancers, including those of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast, are linked to alcohol usage.
      • The amount of alcohol consumed raises the risk of cancer.
      • Alcohol-related malignancies were predicted to be responsible for 400,000 deaths globally in 2016, especially affecting men.
  3. Eat a well-balanced diet
    • Cancer prevention cannot be guaranteed, but the risk can be reduced by healthy eating choices. Eating nutritious foods regularly can help you feel better and keep your overall health in check.
      • Consume plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes.
      • These foods are high in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber, which help establish a healthy lifestyle.
      • Reduce consumption of high-calorie foods, such as refined sugars and high-fat red meat (beef, hog, and lamb).
      • Eating no more than 12 to 18 ounces of meat each week can help reduce the development of colorectal cancer.
      • Maintain a healthy weight appropriate for your height and lifestyle. Consult your doctor to know the right weight range for you.
  4. Increase physical activity
    • Exercise lowers your chances of developing cancers, such as breast and colon cancer.
    • The American Cancer Society recommends adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity movement every week.
    • Every week, children and teenagers should engage in at least one hour of moderate-intensity activity.
    • Walking, golf, yoga, and even mowing the yard are moderate activities.
  5. Breastfeed newborns
    • All new mothers should breastfeed.
    • Firstly, breastfeeding promotes a woman's life because it inhibits certain hormones that may cause cancer.
    • Secondly, toward the end of nursing, the body eliminates any cells in the breast that may have DNA damage.
  6. Limit exposure to sunlight and radiation
    • Radiation, especially from the sun, can cause the development of cancer.
    • Unprotected exposure to sunlight, tanning beds, and sunlamps regularly may result in skin cancer.
    • Changes in the world’s ecosystem and the deteriorating ozone layer increase exposure to more ultraviolet (UV) rays.
    • UV rays may alter the DNA of cells, resulting in malignant skin growth.
    • Apply sunscreen that has a minimum sun protection factor of 30 and wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a long-sleeved shirt when spending significant time in the sun.
    • Stay in the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    • Radon is a less common type of radiation found in your house that can cause lung cancer.
    • Some common sources of radiation, such as microwaves and cell phones, do not raise cancer risk.
  7. Get vaccinated
    • Human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B (HBV) are two viruses that can raise your chance of developing certain malignancies.
    • Though certain viruses cannot be avoided, vaccinations are available for HPV and HBV.
    • The HPV vaccine can lower the incidence of:
      • Cervical, vulval, and vaginal cancer in women
      • Penile cancer in men
      • Anal and head and neck cancers in both men and women
    • HPV-related head and neck cancers are becoming more common in the United States, and immunizations at a younger age can help prevent them.
  8. Practice safe sex
    • Always use a condom and limit the number of sexual partners, lowering the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
    • More sexual partners increase the risk of getting HIV or HPV.
    • People with HIV/AIDS are more likely to develop anal, liver, or lung cancer
    • HPV is mostly connected with cervical cancer, but it may raise the risk of cancer of the anus, penis, throat, vulva, and vagina.
    • Injecting drugs using shared needles can spread HIV and hepatitis B and C, which can increase the chance of developing liver cancer. Seek professional help to help overcome addiction.
  9. Avoid cancer prevention supplements
    • Individuals must get the nutrients they need from a balanced diet rather than an overload of cancer-prevention pills available in the market.
    • You are not discouraged to use multivitamins or situation-specific supplements. Practice caution when taking pills containing high-dose beta-carotene, which can increase the risk of getting cancer.
  10. Get good sleep
    • Although the evidence linking sleep deprivation and cancer is weak, getting enough sleep can help fight cancer.
    • Sleep deprivation has been connected to weight gain, which has been associated with an increased risk of cancer.
    • According to studies, getting enough sleep can help maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity.
    • Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of colorectal, esophageal, kidney, postmenopausal breast, endometrial, and pancreatic cancer.


Skin Cancer Symptoms, Types, Images See Slideshow
Medically Reviewed on 1/9/2023
Image Source: iStock image

What You Can Do to Prevent Cancer and Why It Works. https://www.webmd.com/cancer/ss/slideshow-ways-to-prevent-cancer

Cancer Prevention: 5 Tips to Help Reduce Your Risk. https://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/blog/awareness/cancer-prevention