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The 8 Most Preventable Cancers & How to Reduce Your Risk

At least one third of all cancer cases can be prevented with daily lifestyle changes, according to the World Health Organization - here is how you can help reduce your risk of these 8 types of cancers

The 8 Most Preventable Cancers & How to Reduce Your Risk

Cancer is often chalked up to a bad gene pool or other factors that are out of our control. However, at least one third of all cancer cases can be prevented with daily lifestyle changes, according to the World Health Organization. That means that 500,000 cancer cases every year can be avoided. Here is how you can help reduce your risk of these 8 types of cancers:

Cervical Cancer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 93% of cervical cancers can be prevented thanks to the human papillomavirus vaccine and Pap screening. A new study found that the new 9-valent HPV vaccine alone can prevent 80% of cervical cancers if given to all children around age 11 or 12.

Community Care Physicians brings together physicians specializing in obstetrics and gynecological care, in convenient locations across the Capital Region. To learn more about the HPV vaccine and how to get it, schedule an appointment with one of our physicians.

Lung Cancer

Approximately 70% of all lung cancer cases are attributed to smoking alone. Not only is it important to quit smoking if you currently do, but it's also important to limit your second-hand smoke exposure. At ImageCare Medical Imaging at CCP, we offer a CT Lung Cancer Screening Program that uses low-dose CT scans to detect the smallest possible tumor. With these findings, the specially trained thoracic radiologists at ImageCare can provide patients with guidance through diagnostic evaluation, long-term follow-up and, if needed, guidance on treatment.

Mouth and Throat Cancers

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) estimates 63% mouth, pharyngeal, and laryngeal cancers could be prevented by limiting alcohol consumption as well as making other lifestyle changes. Alcohol is a carcinogen that has been linked to a number of cancers. Moderate drinking is important to reduce your risk of mouth and throat cancers. That's approximately 1 to 2 drinks per day.

Esophageal Cancer

Cancer of the esophagus could also be prevented by 63% with simple lifestyle changes. One of the main risk factors of esophageal cancer is obesity. Obesity practically doubles your risk of developing esophageal cancer due to the chronic inflammation caused by excess body fat, which can lead to insulin resistance and stimulate the growth of cells. The more cells you have, the more opportunity for some to mutate and for cancer to develop.

Aside from maintaining a healthy weight, it's important to reduce your intake of alcohol, quit smoking, and eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A largely plant-based diet reduces the risk of all types of cancers.

Endometrial Cancer

59% of endometrial cancers can be prevented with control over our body fat. Post-menopause, excess fat can produce more estrogen, which could lead to endometrial cancer. A diet high in refined carbs has also been linked to endometrial cancer. It's important to cut back on white, processed flour and sugary drinks to reduce your risk of this type of cancer. Regular physical activity has also been linked to a reduced risk of endometrial cancer. Make sure you are getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

Colorectal Cancers

50% of colorectal cancers are preventable with moderate alcohol consumption. Eating too much red and processed meat has also been linked to this type of cancer. Research suggests that red meat's heme iron, a type of iron found only in animal protein, may cause damage to cell walls in the GI tract that could lead to cancer. Additives like nitrates and nitrites in processed meats can be harmful as well. Try to keep red meat consumption to a minimal. This means under 18 ounces a week. Avoid the processed meats like hot dogs and some deli meats at all costs. It is also crucial that you get screened for a colonoscopy regularly.

Talk to your primary care doctor about colon cancer screening. Community Care Physicians General Surgery offers colonoscopy screening and other colorectal services. Visit for more information.

Breast Cancer

33% of breast cancer cases are preventable, according to the AICR. Limiting alcohol will help to reduce your risk of breast cancer both before and after menopause. Women who breastfeed also have a lower risk of developing breast cancer sometime in their life. Post-menopausal women especially should avoid carrying excess weight.

Skin Cancer

Avoiding harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen regularly, avoiding tanning beds, and wearing protective clothing can prevent 30 million cases of skin cancer, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to reduce the harmful effects that UV rays already had on your body, but you can start protecting yourself now to reduce any risk of skin cancer.

Community Care Physicians Dermatology provides a full range of services in the field of medical dermatology. The scope of practice includes skin cancer screenings, as well as treatment of a wide variety of cutaneous infections and non-infectious skin conditions. Contact our offices today to make an appointment.

Source: Prevention

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