One in eight people will develop cancer in their lifetime. You can cut your chances of developing cancer by taking some simple steps to improve and monitor your health.
“We raise awareness so we can catch it early, but it’s better to prevent it altogether,” said Firas Badin, MD, an oncologist with the Baptist Health Medical Group in Lexington and Richmond, Kentucky.
Cancer prevention: 4 tips to reduce your risk
- Schedule screenings. If there’s a screening you’re eligible for, get it. Finding cancer in its early stages is critical for the best outcome. Dr. Badin recommends asking your doctor which screenings are right for you.
- Stand more. Sitting for long periods increases the risk of cancer. Try standing while talking on the phone and taking the stairs whenever possible.
- Seek shade. Avoid the hot sun, cover up and apply sunscreen. “Above all, avoid tanning beds, which increase your risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent,” Dr. Badin said. With tanning beds, you pay in more ways than just your health – there’s a 10 percent tanning tax collected by the federal government plus a 6 percent sales tax levied by Kentucky.
- Put it out. If you smoke or use any kind of tobacco, stop. Dr. Badin noted that Kentucky leads the nation in deaths from smoking — smoking is responsible for one in five deaths in the U.S.
Find out your risk of developing breast, lung or colorectal cancer with a free online health risk assessment at BaptistHealth.com. Click on Patients and Visitors, then on health risk assessments.