Cancer is one of the scariest words in the medical field.
With no simple or painless treatment options or cures available, this disease nothing short of a scary cloud looming in the distance. With a broad range of risk factors and genetic predispositions, no one is safe from developing this life-changing condition. Like for all medical conditions, prevention is often times infinitely easier than a cure.
So, how does one ensure that they are lowering their risk for developing cancer as much as possible?
Cutting out the bad habits
Although certain risk factors such as genetics are unavoidable, a great deal of cancer prevention is still within our range of control. The most obvious step to protecting yourself against most cancers is to avoid substances that have carcinogenic qualities. Most people would be surprised at how many ordinary things can cause cancer, but let us begin with the most obvious:
Tobacco is the leading cause of cancer & deaths from cancer
Smoking cigarettes skyrockets ones potential for developing all different kinds of ugly cancers, the most common being lung, mouth and throat cancers. However, it is important to note that alternative and seemingly “safer” forms of tobacco have also proven to be deadly. This includes, but is not limited to chewing tobacco, cigars, and secondhand smoke.
Not only does tobacco put one in a dangerously high likelihood to develop cancer, it also contributes to the highest mortality rate from the disease. With that being said, the road leading up to such severe health is extremely physically painful- and entirely avoidable.
Make a strong commitment to your physical health
Obesity is one of the biggest epidemics in the US. Not only does being overweight increase an individual’s chances of developing cancer, it contributes to countless other conditions such as heart disease, depression, and diabetes. By making physical activity a priority, you are diminishing your risk of cancer as well as many other illnesses.
Being physically active contributes to a more positive and productive mental space, that in turn, contributes to a healthier (and cancer-free!) lifestyle.
…But not without the SPF
Healthy, active people tend to spend a lot of time outdoors. While spending time in the sun is extremely beneficial for one’s health (thank you vitamin D) it is also exposing them to extremely harmful and cancerous UV rays. It’s true that all of us look better with a tan, but at what cost? Being responsible and limiting your sun exposure will pay off in the long run- and you won’t have to worry about sporting any unsightly burns in your next vacation photos.
Diet, diet, diet
It cannot be said enough that you are what you eat. Even if you have the world’s greatest metabolism and can eat junk foods without gaining a single pound, consuming a diet high in fatty and processed foods exposes one to the risk of developing cancer. Processed meats have been known to increase your risk of cancer- so beware of how much you consume. Plant-based diets filled with protein and healthy fats have linked with lower cancer rates, let alone countless other health benefits.
Don’t forget to prioritize your mental and emotional wellbeing
Stress takes an incredible large toll on our bodies. When we aren’t feeling centered emotionally, we are far more likely to take part in unhealthy habits. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, it becomes a snowball effect: they feel stressed, so they eat poorly, then gain weight and lack energy, which makes them even more depleted emotionally.
No matter how busy your life is, it is indefinitely valuable to take the time to rest mentally. Integrate meditation, exercise, or some other calming activity into your daily routine. By keeping in check with your emotional state, your body can function properly and is better equipped at protecting you from developing harmful conditions such as cancer.
Be aware of sneaky carcinogens
An enlightening article posted on the The Daily Dust covered a list of substances one might not expect to be harmful. It can be alarming considering ring just how much we use some of these products, with deodorant making the list. There are a couple of solutions to the deodorant conundrum: either forgo shaving so fewer chemicals are absorbed through the skin pores, or one could try out natural deodorants.
Other surprising items to make the list were mouthwash, hair dye, and tooth whitener. Basically: if it contains chemicals, it is likely to be carcinogenic. This doesn’t mean you have to live your life in fear, but rather a reminder to be aware and aim to reduce the chemicals you are exposing yourself to. In nearly all cases, simplicity is the best way to go.
Be prepared for the worst
Even the healthiest people are still exposed to the risk of developing cancer. Prevention is key, and so is detecting any abnormalities early on. It is incredibly wise to check up on your health regularly. For individuals without health insurance, this process can be extremely expensive. However, this does not mean that they shouldn’t be able to be proactive about their health.
TeddyCanHeal offers a very helpful service for those who cannot afford traditional health insurance, as well as a supplement for those that can. The membership offers a couple different options depending on one’s needs but includes unlimited doctor consultations, lab testing, comprehensive wellness testing, as well as discounted RX.
Be proactive about your health and see your life change
Money should never stop you from being healthy. By practicing the habits above and investing in a health program that works for you, you are optimizing the quality and the longevity of your life. It’s all too easy to take our health for granted, but by taking good care of ourselves, we are in turn, empowering our lives and enabling ourselves to accomplish everything on our bucket lists.