February is National Cancer Prevention Month. Research has shown that more than half of cancers diagnosed in the United States are considered preventable, with causes coming from factors including sun exposure, tobacco use and lack of exercise, among others.
National Cancer Prevention Month is designed to inform people about healthier lifestyle alternatives that can lower the risk of cancer. While nothing guarantees complete prevention, living a healthier lifestyle will not only reduce your risk of cancer, but also your chances of heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.
Making healthy changes to reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases can be simpler than you think. Here are a few tips that can be easily applied to life in Las Vegas.
Get More Exercise:
One of the benefits of living in Southern Nevada is our 295 days of sunshine, with January and February offering daytime high averages just below 60 degrees. Being active in Las Vegas is as easy as walking outside your door. Regular healthy walks, 3-4 times per week for at least 30 minutes, can provide more than the recommended weekly physical activity for adults. The additional benefit off being outside is fresh air, which helps the immune system create white blood cells. Going for walks means there’s no need for a gym membership and fewer excuses for not being active.
Be Sun Smart:
Being active and getting outside is great for your health, but it’s also important to control your exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. During summer months when average daytime highs exceed 100 degrees in Las Vegas, it’s recommended to walk earlier in the day, or at night, to keep from becoming dehydrated. No matter what time of the year you’re outside; make sure to keep covered with wide-brimmed hats, protective clothes and sunscreen that has SPF 30 or higher. Be careful with the amount of time you spend outside, no matter what time of year, as UV rays are out there every day, even on a cloudy day. For more tips on how to be sun smart, visit our website.
Improve Your Diet:
Research has shown that no food in particular will definitively cure or treat cancer. However, we do know that there are foods that will help reduce the risk of developing cancer, like certain fruits or vegetables. There are different phytochemicals in a red fruit versus a green vegetable, so it’s good to consume the spectrum of fruits and vegetables to ensure a well-balanced diet. Whether you are healthy and trying to stay one step ahead of cancer or are in the heart of a cancer treatment regiment, it’s important to make healthful food choices a majority of the time. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a cookie every once in a while, but weave that cookie into a broader, healthy diet and lifestyle. For more information about cancer and nutrition, visit our website.
Smoking is the leading cause of many cancers, but is also the most preventable. Smoking contributes to 80 to 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths and exposure to secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers each year. If you do smoke, make an effort to quit, as the benefits can take effect within two hours of quitting smoking. There are many great resources available to help those trying to quit smoking including Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada’s I Quit For campaign. It’s not easy, but getting help from others can improve your chances of success and cancer prevention.
Testing & Check Ups:
Making good lifestyle choices, like those noted above, is important for cancer prevention, and so is staying educated and informed about your personal health and well-being. This comes through regular checkups with your primary care physician and routine screenings. There are many preventative screenings you can talk to your doctor about such as mammograms for breast cancer, Pap smears for cervical cancer, colonoscopy for colon cancer, PSA tests for prostate cancer, low dose CT scans for lung cancer and more. Get tested regularly, not only for diagnosis, but also for reinforcement of living healthy.
The team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada celebrates National Cancer Prevention Month, and we hope you do too, by doing everything you can to reduce your risks. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with cancer, call 702-952-3350 to schedule an appointment. For more information about our services and treatment centers, visit our website today.