Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. Cancer is not a single disease but a group of related diseases. Many things in our genes, our lifestyle and the environment around us may increase or decrease our risk of getting cancer, but research has shown that more than 40% of all cancers diagnosed can be attributed to preventable causes. Here are some things you can do to lower your risk.

  • Get screened. Early detection is part of prevention. Talk to your doctor about what screening tests you should get as part of your regular care.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco. Quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do for your health.
  • Be safe in the sun. Use sunscreen, and cover up when you’re in the sun. Stay in the shade when the sun is at its brightest – between 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink less. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men. Consider a day of abstinence from alcohol.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Maintain a normal BMI. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Get plenty of good sleep. Increasing research has shown that sleep plays a role in staying healthy. The quality of sleep you get is just as important, maybe even more important, than the quantity of sleep. Evidence suggests that poor sleep fuels inflammation which can lead to obesity, diabetes and some cancers.
  • Know your risk factors. Five to 10% of all cancers are inherited. Knowing your family history and discussing it with your primary care physician can help you decide when you should start cancer screening and whether to consider genetic counseling.

Halifax Health – Center for Oncology is a long-established and well-known leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. From the earliest preventive genetic testing to sophisticated new radiation therapies, our first-class team of experts are here for you. Visit halifaxhealth.org/cancercare to learn more.

If you need to establish care with a family doctor, Halifax Health – Primary Care physicians have extensive training and experience in treating adults, children, adolescents and seniors. Services offered include physical examinations, routine vaccinations, adolescent healthcare, women’s health and preventive medicine, and sick visits, as well as health education. Visit halifaxhealth.org/primarycare or call 386.425.MYMD to learn more.


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