What You Can Do
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself from Cancer
Reducing the risk factors for cancer is the best way to protect yourself from cancer.
- Quit Smoking. The risk of cancer decreases after successful quitting.
- Limit Exposure to Sunlight and other Ionizing radiation. Avoiding midday sun; protection by wearing long sleeves, long pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV absorbing lenses; using sunscreen; and staying away from sunlamps and tanning booths; are important precautions to take to protect one’s skin from the damage that ultimately leads to cancer.
- Handle certain chemicals and other substances with care. At home, it is important to use precautions while handling pesticides, used engine oil, paint, solvents, and other chemicals.
- Protect yourself from some viruses and bacteria. Protections from cancers caused by infections may include vaccination where available, using protection during sex, not sharing needles, and in the case of H. Pylori, receiving adequate treatment for a stomach ulcer caused by this bacterium.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Drinking moderately can reduce the risk for cancer.
- Practice eating healthy and exercising. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, being physically active, and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of cancer.
National Cancer Institute. What you need to know about Cancer Risk Factors. Retrieved September 19, 2012.