Four Corners Health Department — Prevent cancer

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. According to the American Cancer Society, over 40% of cancers could be prevented. How do you prevent cancer? Read these tips to find out:

Avoid Tobacco: Even if someone has been a heavy smoker for years, there are still significant health benefits to stopping. It is never too late to quit. All forms of tobacco products are dangerous. Secondhand smoke is also a risk factor. Protect yourself and those around you.

Protect Your Skin: Using tanning beds is harmful to your skin. Try to stay out of the direct sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are most damaging. Cover your skin with a hat and long sleeves. When exposed to the sun, protect your skin by wearing sunscreen.

Stay Active: Get regular physical activity. Maintain a healthy weight to lower your risk. Adults should get 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.

Eat a Healthy Diet: Be sure to eat a variety of healthy foods. Aim for at least five servings of fruits or vegetables every day. Balance the calories you take in with the calories your body uses.

Limit Alcohol Use: All types of alcohol are linked with cancer. Excessive alcohol use increases the risk.

Get Vaccinated: Be sure to get vaccinated. Some cancers come from certain viruses. Check your vaccination history and ask your doctor if there is anything you’re missing.

Know Your Family History: A family health history can help you know if you are at an increased risk. This can also help your doctor know when to start screening and how often.

Limit Contact: Having contact with certain chemicals, substances, or gasses can increase your risk for cancer. High levels of radon have been known to cause cancer. You can’t see or smell radon so you must test for it. You can pick up a simple test from Four Corners.

Get Screened: Stay on schedule with recommended checkups and screenings. Screenings may be unpleasant but don’t put them off. The next best thing to prevention is early detection.

To find local resources, go here: https://fourcorners.ne.gov/resource-directory/wpbdp_category/cancer/

For more information on this topic, go to https://www.cancer.org/research/acs-research-news/more-than-4-in-10-cancers-and-cancer-deaths-linked-to-modifiable-risk-factors.html

For questions or to learn more, call Four Corners at 402-362-2621 or 877-337-3573 or email us at info@fourcorners.ne.gov

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