February 4th is marked as World Cancer Day to raise awareness of the diagnosis, symptoms, prevention and treatment of the disease. The observed World Cancer Day was founded in 2008 by the Union for International Cancer Control to reduce cancer-related illness and death by 2020. Cancer has become widespread and is ranked second to heart disease as the most common cause of death in the U.S.
In 2014, more than 30 percent of all cancer deaths were attributed to smoking. But, cancer-related deaths have steadily declined by 20 percent from 1991 to 2010. This means that 1.3 million cancer deaths were prevented. To continue this success, the best way to start is with our own bodies. Here are some healthy tips to prevent cancer:
Don’t use tobacco— Tobacco isn’t just linked to lung cancer, it is linked to bladder, cervix and kidney cancer among others. Even if you don’t directly smoke tobacco, be conscientious of second-hand smoke and your exposure. Ask your doctor about how to quit smoking or chewing tobacco to prevent cancer.
Wear sunscreen— Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer and yet the most preventable. Remember to stay in the shade, use generous amounts of sunscreen and avoid tanning beds. It’s good to get some sun, but remember to not be excessive.
Receive regular medical care— Be aware of your own body and note irregular moles, lumps or discoloration. Regular self-exams is a key part to preventing cancer. Don’t forget your annual doctor’s check up and never hesitate to make an appointment if you’re concerned.
Be healthy physically and mentally— You’ve heard it before: eat your fruits and vegetables, exercise daily, limit fat and alcohol intake and manage stress. This piece of advice will not only improve your daily life, but it will decrease your chances of getting a disease like cancer and even the more pesky common colds. Remember that a healthy mind contributes to a healthy body.