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World Cancer Month: Cut your chances of developing cancer in half

(KTAR File Photo)

You can avoid 50 percent of cancers with some simple lifestyle changes.

February is World Cancer Awareness Month.

“The majority of cancers can actually be avoided,” said Dr. David Boyd with Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Most people are already aware of these recommendations, he said.

“Clean living essentially,” Boyd said. “Avoiding tobacco is the largest one, avoiding excess alcohol, keeping an appropriate body weight, regular exercise and appropriate diet choices.”

Other things include yearly doctor visits even if you are not sick and stating up on vaccinations, he said. It’s also very important to avoid excessive sunlight.

“For instance, avoiding tobacco…25 to 30 percent of cancer related deaths are related to tobacco,” Boyd said. “And so if someone is a smoker, or chewing tobacco user, etc.; stopping would be a great idea, but never starting is even better.”

Taking that 25 to 30 percent and adding in small things like taking a daily multi-vitamin (3 to 4 percent) can reduce your chances to as much as 34 percent, he said.

If a people are doing all the lifestyle changes mentioned here, overall they can decrease the chances of developing cancer by 50 percent.

These are all things that we know to do, but maybe do not always put in to place, he said. So many times you see a chronic disease or a disease that comes about, that could have been avoided if appropriate choices were there in the first place.

“That’s really on each of us,” said Boyd. “And when it comes to avoiding cancer, it’s good to know that those appropriate choices do pay off.”

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