These lifestyle choices may make cancer less likely.
You’ve seen the hype-filled headlines: “The Cancer Prevention Diet!” “Slash Your Risk of Cancer in Half in Just Minutes a Day!” Is it true that you can cut your cancer risk with simple choices you make every day?
Well, there’s nothing magic about cancer prevention, no “killer app” that can instantly keep you healthy. Genetics play a big role in cancer, so even if you try to live a perfectly healthy life, it’s possible that you may develop cancer.
But experts estimate that at least a third of all adult cancer cases are linked to lifestyle, which is within your control.
With every healthy choice you make -- and every unhealthy habit you drop -- you’re chipping away at your cancer risk. Here are eight of the healthiest habits you can develop to help prevent cancer (plus a ninth one that experts are still cautious about).
9. Aspirin -- Maybe, and with a Dose of Caution.
Should you take aspirin to prevent cancer? The jury’s still out, but at least some evidence points that way. A large study published in 2010 found that daily use of low-dose aspirin can cut the risk of death due to certain cancers (primarily lung, colorectal, and esophageal cancer) by as much as 21%.
But regular aspirin use can come with side effects, especially stomach bleeding and irritation. Most experts say it’s way too soon to recommend a cancer-fighting aspirin a day.
“We’d all like preventing cancer to be as easy as taking a little pill, but the fact is that you’ll reduce your cancer risk much more by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and eating fruits and vegetables than you will by taking aspirin,” Ruffin says.
Talk to your doctor before you start taking aspirin on a regular basis for any reason.