World Cancer Day
Cancer is a word that conjures feelings of dread and sadness. Almost everyone can say they know someone who had, or has, a cancer of some kind. It is a very common disease, usually defined by the area of the body it appears in, and millions of people around the world are diagnosed every year. It can have devastating effects physically, emotionally, and financially, and cause the loss of loved ones and friends. On World Cancer Day, take the time to examine your habits to see what can be done to reduce your cancer risk. Here are ways to reduce your exposure to the most common causes of cancer.
- Quit smoking, vaping, or using tobacco products. There are no safe levels of exposure to tobacco products, and they cause large numbers of cancer cases each year. Protect yourself and others by seeing your family doctor or go to https://www.albertaquits.ca/.
- Limit sun exposure. UV radiation exposure causes harm to the cells of skin and eyes. It is easy to forget the importance of sun protection during fun activities when the weather is nice, but the most fatal form of skin cancer continues to increase in Canada. Plan your activities for before 11 a.m. or after 3 p.m. when possible, take shade breaks if you are outdoors during this time, and use sunscreen on all exposed skin, even on the lips, at SPF 30 or higher. Reapply sunscreen often when sweating. Wear eye protection that offers 100 per cent UV protection, and wear hats and long sleeves when possible.
- Get moving. Inactivity is linked with multiple types of cancer. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Try to incorporate muscle strengthening exercises into the routine.
- Get Screened. Early detection of cancer greatly increases the chance of successful treatment. Go to http://screeningforlife.ca/ for more information on who should get screened and when.
- Drink less alcohol. Alcohol greatly increases the risk for digestive tract cancers, including throat and liver cancer. The Alberta Health Services Guideline recommends no more than 2 drinks per day for women, and no more than 3 for men, with non-drinking days weekly to prevent habit formation. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your drinking.
For more information on cancer and cancer prevention, go to the following links:
By Hailie Rondeau, RN
ARTACares is provided by HumanaCare, an Alberta-based health and wellness provider with more than thirty-five years of Canadian health care experience.