Comprehensive Cancer’s Dr. Henry P. Igid provides 10 daily tips to be proactive against cancer, including mindful behaviors and lifestyle choices

Comprehensive Cancer Centers, and Henry P. Igid, MD know that staying healthy can feel overwhelming, particularly in the current health care climate. When it comes to cancer, the more you know, the better you’re able to influence your health destiny. Preventive measures are an opportunity to put your best foot forward and stay one step ahead of a prospective diagnosis.

With the goal of being mindful of positive behaviors, and working toward adopting beneficial lifestyle choices, Dr. Igid recently offered 10 cancer tips for being proactive against cancer. This list is not all-encompassing, but a reminder of the things that can, and should, be prioritized.

1: Stay Up-to-Date on Screenings and Checkups
It’s important to stay current with basic checkups and screenings. Men and women should get a colonoscopy as early as age 45 to screen for colorectal cancer. Women can consider getting a mammogram as early as age 40 to screen for breast cancer, after discussing with her doctors. Women should also get regular pap smears to screen for cervical cancer. Men should have a discussion with their physicians, like Dr. Henry P. Igid, about screening for prostate cancer.

2: Avoid Tobacco, Vaping Products and Cigars
One of the most common risk factors that the public should be aware of is the correlation between tobacco use and cancer diagnosis. Tobacco is one of the most common causes of cancer and it accounts for more than 20% of all cancer deaths. If someone has already started smoking, they can talk to their doctor about ways to cut back and schedule a lung cancer screening scan for early detection of cancer.

3: Reduce Environmental Exposure
Too much exposure to ultraviolet rays or the sun increases the risk of skin cancers and melanoma. It is best to avoid prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays and to wear protective sunscreen to prevent damage to skin, such as a sunburn, that can cause cancer.

4: Partake in Physical Activity
Increasing physical activity can decrease the risk of various types of cancer. Physical activity three times a week for 30 minutes to an hour is a great start. Another technique to fit in some physical activity is to walk 15 minutes each day to decrease the risk of cancer, while also improving cardiovascular activity.

5: Conduct Safe Sexual Practices
Avoid unprotected sex that can lead to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Certain viruses, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical, anal, oral and other types of cancer, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can increase the risk of cancers like lymphoma. By practicing safe sex and using protection, one can protect themselves against these infections that increase the risk of cancer. Individuals who are at risk for acquiring HIV through sex should discuss with their physician strategies, including medications, that reduce this

6: Watch Your Weight
Increased weight and extra fat can put stress on the body and is associated with increased risk of many types of cancers. If one is overweight or obese, diet and exercise are great initial strategies. Talking to Henry P. Igid, MD or your physician about other options, not limited to medications and surgery, may help.

7: Eat Healthily
Maintain a diet that is rich in fiber and vegetables, while limiting the intake of red meat and processed meat that has been linked to stomach cancer. The Mediterranean diet is an option that promotes a well-rounded diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and seafood. It is also best to avoid animal fats and to use plant-based oils when cooking.

8: Get Vaccinated and Avoid Infection
Certain viruses like hepatitis B or hepatitis C can lead to liver cancer. To limit risk, make sure you are vaccinated against hepatitis B, get screened for hepatitis C and partake in safe practices to avoid infection, including not sharing needles and drugs. Vaccination against HPV also reduces the risk of acquiring the virus and HPV-related cancers

9: Be Aware of Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is a carcinogen, a substance capable of causing cancer, and it can cause inflammation in the gut. It is best to avoid alcohol intake or consume in moderation. Evidence indicates that the more alcohol a person consumes, the higher the risk of developing alcohol-associated cancer.

10: Be Mindful of Family History
Pay attention to your family’s history of hereditary cancers. Genetic counselors are vital resources that can shed light on a family’s history. They can recommend risk-reducing interventions such as earlier screening tests, scans and, in some cases, surgery. For breast cancer specifically, a person may benefit from medications to reduce the risk of breast cancer based on their family history, age, and prior abnormal mammograms that required biopsies. Families with a history of colon and other cancers that occurred earlier than 50 may also have genetic predispositions known as Lynch syndrome that increases the risk of cancer in these instances, and earlier screening methods are warranted.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians, such as Henry P. Igid at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for those with cancer in Las Vegas and the surrounding valley. All treatments are done right here in Southern Nevada.  To schedule an appointment with Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content in this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.