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Health Habits That Can Lower Your Risk of Cancer

Health Habits That Can Lower Your Risk of Cancer

Cancer is a group of diseases that causes abnormal cells to grow uncontrollably throughout the body. These abnormal cells do not function like normal, healthy cells, and they can cause damage to any organs or parts of the body they have invaded. Despite cancer being a serious illness that requires medical attention, there are ways to prevent cancer naturally, or at least lower a person’s risk of acquiring the disease.

But before we get to how to prevent cancer naturally, we first need to understand what are the different risk factors that contribute to cancer.

What Risk Factors Cause Cancer?

We already discussed how cancer is the result of unchecked growth of abnormal cells. But how exactly are these abnormal cells formed?

One possible reason is that something triggers a change in the cell’s genes, causing it to grow quickly and turn into cancer cells. This could be caused by chronic inflammation, a disease, exposure to carcinogens or cancer-causing chemicals, hereditary factors, or just by chance.

Having a weakened immune system can also increase the risk for cancer, since the immune system usually kills off cancer cells before they can spread in the body. However, if the immune system is compromised, then some of these cells survive and cause cancer.

How To Prevent Cancer Naturally

When it comes to tips and habits on how to prevent cancer naturally, the focus needs to be on addressing the risk factors that cause cancer in the first place.

Here are some natural ways and lifestyle changes that help prevent, or lower, the risk of cancer:

how to prevent cancer naturally

1. Eat Right

The food that you eat plays a big role in helping prevent cancer naturally. Any food that you put inside your body has an effect, and oftentimes it’s providing nutrition. But in some cases, the food you eat can cause harm to your body.

This is why it’s best to eat food that helps strengthen your body, and keeps it strong and healthy. Eating green, leafy vegetables, as well as fruits and fish can provide many of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

Try to avoid eating too much red meat, as well as processed foods. Likewise, food that has a lot of salt, sugar, and preservatives can cause health problems that increase your risk of cancer.

2. Stay Active

Together with eating healthy food is making sure that you stay active. Engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, or around 150 minutes a week.

Daily exercise helps maintain your body’s strength, and helps keep your muscles and organs, especially your heart, in working order.

If you are not used to exercising, or if you do not have time to go to the gym, then you can integrate simple exercises in your daily life. You can try walking up and down the stairs, standing up instead of sitting down, and walking to places instead of taking your car.

The important thing is that you are getting enough physical activity each day.

3. Keep Your Weight Under Control

Another important tip on how to prevent cancer naturally is to keep your weight under control. Being obese or overweight is a known risk factor when it comes to cancer.

One theory that might explain this is because people who suffer from obesity often have chronic low-level inflammation in their body. As time goes by, this inflammation can cause damage to the DNA in their cells, which can lead to cancer.

If you are obese or overweight, it’s a good idea to start making lifestyle choices that help you lose weight. Maintaining your ideal weight greatly lowers your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Obesity: Risk Factors and Prevention Tips

4. Avoid High Levels of Stress

Stress on its own has been found to not directly increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. However, stress can have a negative impact on the body’s immune system. It can even cause headaches, sleeping problems, and anxiety.

Stress can also indirectly lead a person to start smoking, overeat, or neglect to take care of their body all risk factors for cancer.

This is why it is important to take some time to relax and rest. Try to read a book, listen to some music, or do yoga. Meditation can help calm you down and better cope with stress.

5. Quit Smoking

Smoking has been found to not only increase a person’s risk of lung cancer, but also many other cancers. These include cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum, and even leukemia.

Cigarette smoke contains numerous chemicals that can harm the body, and are known carcinogens. These carcinogens directly increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.

Aside from smokers, people who constantly inhale secondhand smoke are also at risk. A smoker’s family is also at risk of developing cancer because of secondhand smoke.

If you are a smoker, it’s a good idea to quit as soon as possible. Quitting smoking earlier significantly reduces the risk of developing cancer later on in life, compared to quitting later on.

How Your Health Improves After Quitting Smoking: A Timeline

The most important thing to remember on how to prevent cancer naturally is that staying healthy and making healthy lifestyle choices can do a lot when it comes to lowering a person’s risk for cancer.

Read also:

Can Chronic Stress Cause Cancer?

Important Facts that You Need to Know About Lung Cancer

The Benefits of Diet and Weight Loss

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Diet, Nutrition, & Healthy Lifestyle Help Reduce Cancer Risk, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/4516-diet–nutrition–healthy-lifestyle-help-reduce-cancer-risk, accessed July 29, 2020

5 Healthy Habits That Help You During Lung Cancer Treatment, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-healthy-habits-that-help-you-during-lung-cancer-treatment, accessed July 29, 2020

6 Lifestyle Changes to Improve Your Cancer Care, https://www.cancer.net/blog/2018-09/6-lifestyle-changes-improve-your-cancer-care, accessed July 29, 2020

Cancer prevention: 7 tips to reduce your risk, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/cancer-prevention/art-20044816, accessed July 29, 2020

The 10 commandments of cancer prevention,  https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-10-commandments-of-cancer-prevention, accessed July 29, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated May 19
Medically reviewed by John Paul Ferolino Abrina, M.D.