Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancers are expected to remain the most diagnosed cancers, accounting for 46 per cent of all diagnoses in 2021.
There are ways for people to reduce their risk for various cancers.
1. Skip tobacco products. Avoiding tobacco in all forms can reduce a person's risk of developing cancer. Smoking is a major contributor to various cancers, including lung and bladder cancers.
2. Exercise regularly. Exercise benefits the body in many ways, including reducing a person's risk for several types of cancers. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends moderate exercise through gardening, dancing, playing with children, or walking the dog: all are sufficient forms of exercise.
3. Lose weight in a healthy way. Obesity and being overweight have been linked to increased risk for breast, colon, esophageal, endometrial, and pancreatic cancers. Fat and sugar metabolism may be mechanisms implicating weight in cancer occurrence. Skip the fad diets and lose weight through portion control, a balance of healthy foods and exercise.
4. Limit alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer to the breast, oesophagus, mouth, and larynx. Those who choose to drink should limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day.
5. Reduce consumption of animal fats. Studies point to a diet high in animal fat as a contributor to increased risk of certain cancers. Red meat is a particular concern.
6. Avoid radiation exposure. Opt for medical imaging tests only when necessary. Radon in a home is a factor in cancer causation, so homeowners should periodically test their homes for radon. In addition, sunscreen and avoiding the sun during certain times of day, such as between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., can reduce exposure to potentially harmful UV rays.
7. Prioritize safe behaviours. Certain viruses can cause cancer, including Epstein-Barr and human papillomavirus. Hepatitis and HIV also can increase a person's risk for cancer. Practicing safe sex and avoiding illegal drug use can lower the risk of getting cancer from infectious diseases.
Cancer continues to be a leading cause of death and affects millions of people. By examining their behaviours and lifestyles, people can make changes that reduce their risk for various cancers.
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