Cancer Sucks, Here’s How To Cut Your Risk

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Cancer is one of those creepy things that can attack us any time, anywhere.  Your skin, lungs, brain, pancreas, kidneys, lymph system, and stomach are just a few place you can get cancer.

But what is cancer anyway?

Basically, cancer is what happens when the cells in one part of your body start growing out of control.

Once you become an adult, new cells are basically built as replacements for worn out cells.  There’s a constant turnover but the number of cells remains fairly constant.

cancer dna

Cancer cells, though, keep growing, dividing, and multiplying.  And then all these new (and damaged) cells outlive your healthy cells and start piling up; this is how tumors are formed.  These cells then start interfering with your normal body function and your health begins a decline…

There are all sorts of theories about what causes cancer, but science doesn’t have a thorough answer yet.  We know lots of things can set it off: electromagnetic waves, ultraviolet radiation, smoking, toxic chemicals, and obesity are all common causes.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic shield to defend you from cancer.  Eating better and exercising will help protect you from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, but cancer remains more difficult to predict.

Decreasing your weight and reducing your exposure to toxins (both environmental and in your food/water) are ways to lower your cancer risk.  Here are a few more tips to help you stay healthy:

Eat Tomatoes And Red Bell Peppers: These are two of the best sources of lycopene, a nutrient that has been shown to help protect against prostate cancer.  In fact, a study showed that only two servings of tomatoes a week can cut prostate cancer risk by 34%.

tomatoes

Eat More Protein: Protein will supply you with the amino acid cysteine, which is a major piece of your inner-cancer-fighter glutathione.

Find More Fiber:  Researchers discovered that people with the highest fiber intakes are 40% less likely to develop colon cancer.

Eat The Rainbow: Diets with the highest amounts of fruits and vegetables have been shown to lower digestive-tract cancer risk by 70%.

Slam Some Spinach:  Neocanthin is a nutrient found in spinach that prevents the growth of some forms of cancer.

spinach

Drink Green Tea: Green tea is not only a great source of anti-oxidants, it also can help protect you from skin cancer.

Get Zesty: Lemon and orange zest (the skin of the fruit) contain d-limonene.  Even small amounts of d-limonene can cut your skin cancer risk by 30%.

Be Down With D: Vitamin D helps detoxify the carcinogenic chemicals released when you digest fatty foods.

Take Fish Oil:  Or krill oil.  Or eat some fish.  The omega-3 fatty acids in fish will reduce your cancer risk.

Consume More Antioxidants: Eat more thin skinned berries like blueberries, acai berries, raspberries, and grapes.  The antioxidants in these fruits will help protect you from cancer.

Bet On Beta-Carotene:  Beta-carotene is a nutrient that protects against cancer and aging.  Food is better than supplements, so here are the ten foods with the most beta-carotene: sweet potato, herbs, kale, spinach, carrots, turnip greens, butternut squash, mustard greens, lettuce, and collard greens.  (Choose organic)

carrots

Eat Broccoli:  Compounds in broccoli have been shown to fight different forms of cancer.  Add in cauliflower and daikon when you get bored with broccoli.

Go Organic: When you get organic foods, you’re choosing what’s NOT in the food: pesticides and other toxins.  Reducing your toxic load by going organic and natural-fed will lower your cancer risk.

Don’t Get Burned: While some sunshine is good for your health, get in the shade before you burn.  And stay away from sunscreens, they’re full of chemicals and they let you stay out in sun for far longer than you should.

Stay Light: The American Institute for Cancer Research’s number one recommendation for reducing cancer risk is to stay as lean as possible (while still in a healthy weight range).

fitness is fun

Get Moving: Exercise has been shown to lower risk of some cancers by 30-50%.  So break a sweat sometimes.

Reduce Alcohol: It’s been shown that ANY alcohol consumption will raise your risk of cancer.  Either cut back or cut it out.

Lower Your Stress:  Stress hasn’t been linked to any specific cancers, but stressed-out people engage in many unhealthy behaviors that can lead to cancer.  Relax.

Use CAUTION:  CAUTION is an acronym to remind you of early signs of cancer.  See this post for an explanation: Cancer Warning Signs To Get Checked Out

In conclusion, focusing on living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding major risk factors is your best plan for cutting your cancer risk.

cancer sucks

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