Top 10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Cancer

The uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells causes cancer. Although all cancers have similar characteristics each is distinct. Genetics plays an important role in development of cancer, but along with that environmental factors, our diet and lifestyle too has a role.

English: Most common cancers in the United Sta...

English: Most common cancers in the United States 2008. See Epidemiology of cancer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Top 10 ways to protect yourself from cancer:

1. Don’t smoke: Cigarette smoke is the number one carcinogen responsible for cancer.

2. Limit your alcohol intake: Heavy drinkers are more likely to develop oral cancer and cancer of larynx, throat, esophagus, liver and breast.

3. Stay out of the Sun: wearing sun-screen is better that using nothing.

4. Get moving: exercise- the heart strengthener and stamina builder also can reduce the risk of colon cancer.  Women who exercise early in life are less likely to develop breast cancer.

5. Watch your weight: Obesity increases the risk of several cancers including endometrial cancer particularly among post menopausal women.

6. Check yourself out: Scan your skin for suspicious moles every month. If you are a women, examine your breasts regularly. If you are a man, check your testicles.

7. Be sexually cautious: Cervical cancer has been linked with intercourse at an early age, multiple sex partners and infection with human papilloma virus. The incidence of prostate cancer in men increases with multiple sexual partners and history of frequente sexual transmitted diseases.

8. Watch what you eat: Cut down on fats. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. High fat foods have been linked to several cancers including breast, colon and prostate. Fruits , vegetables and whole grains are rich in antioxidants to help you.

9. Protect yourself from possible environmental carcinogens:  Many chemicals used in the industry can increase the risk to employees and people living near a factory that creates smoke, dust or gases. Follow safety precautions at work and check with local environmental officers about possible hazards.

10. Inform yourself: Know the warning signs of cancer and see the physician if you develop any of them. Find about any history of cancer in your family. Even though heredity accounts for less percentage of cancer cases the more you know about potential risks the more you can do to protect yourself.

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Top 5 Whats, Whys & Hows Of Medical Tests

Many times when you visit your doctor he suggests you to undergo various medical tests. Many physicians believe that you don’t need annual checkup if you are young and feel well. However certain types of tests should be performed periodically , particularly if you are 45 or older or you are at a higher than average risk of developing a particular disease.

Before you undergo these tests you need to understand the details of them.

Polski: Rentgenogram zakupiony przez Fundację ...

Polski: Rentgenogram zakupiony przez Fundację dla Szpitala im. Krysiewicza w Poznaniu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These are the whats, whys & hows of testing:

1. Before undergoing any test, find out why you need it. Get a specific answer, not a “just in case” or “for peace of mind”. If you have had the tests before , could the earlier results be used? Would a follow-up exam be just as helpful?

2. Get some practical information as well: Should you do specific things before tests? (such as not eat for a specific period) How long will the test take? What will the test feel like? Will you need help getting home afterwards?

3. Check out the risks. Any invasive test, one that penetrates the body with needle, tube or viewing instrument involves some risk of infection, bleeding or tissue damage. Tests involving radiation also involves risks and some people develop allergic reactions to materials used in testing.

4. Get information on the laboratory that will be evaluating the test. Ask how often false positives or false negatives occur.( False positives are abnormal results indicating that you have a particular condition when you really don’t. False negatives indicate that you don’t have a particular condition when you really do.) Find out about civil and criminal negligence suits filed against the laboratory on charges such as failing to diagnose cervical cancer because of incorrect readings of Pap smears etc.

5. You will also want to know what happens when the test indicates a problem: Will the test be repeated? Will a different test be performed? Will treatment begin immediately? Could any medications you are taking(including non prescription drugs like aspirin) affect the testing procedures or results?

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