5 Ways to Lower Your Cancer Risk

Cancer can be scary to think about—and that fear can make it easy to skip regular cancer screenings. But did you know that each year over 40% of cancer in the United States could have been prevented? Here are five recommendations that could make a significant difference in reducing your risk and promoting overall well-being.


Video: The importance of cancer screenings and early detection

1. Ditch the tobacco

The use of tobacco products is linked to at least 12 different types of cancer—including mouth, throat, kidney, cervical, liver, and stomach. If you smoke or use tobacco in other ways, consider getting help to quit.

If not for you, then quit for your family and friends: smoking and secondhand smoke is known to cause cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, second hand smoke not only causes lung cancer in people who have never smoked, but evidence suggests that it’s also linked to various other cancers. Quitting smoking can be challenging, but the payoff is significant.

2. Protect your skin

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. It’s also the most preventable. And in case you didn’t know, people with any skin color can develop skin cancer. For the best chance at prevention, here are just a few ways that to prevent skin cancer:

  • Stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when rays are the strongest.
  • Apply a thick layer of sunscreen, about 2 tablespoons of SPF 30 or higher, on your face and body 30 minutes before going outside—even on cloudy days.
  • Avoid tanning beds.

3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Embracing a strong and fit lifestyle is essential for overall well-being. And like tobacco use, carrying extra weight has been linked to various types of cancer, such as uterine, breast, and colorectal cancer. Prioritizing healthy eating habits and engaging in physical activity can play an important role in reducing your risk for cancer and contribute to good health.

4. Drink alcohol mindfully

According to a recent report by the New England Journal of Medicine, drinking alcohol can increase your risk of several cancers and increase risk of recurrence in cancer survivors.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an occasional glass of wine or beer. Just be mindful about how much you drink. Drinking too much can also lead to weight gain, a major risk factor for cancer.

5. Get regular cancer screenings

Taking a moment for regular cancer screenings means taking a moment to care for yourself. Remember, early detection can save your life. Also, knowing your family history can help you and your physician decide which cancer screenings you should prioritize—and which lifestyle choices might be the most important to keep you healthy.

If your employer offers the Carrum Health cancer care benefit, and if tests show you or your dependent might have cancer, reach out to Carrum Health as soon as possible. We can help you schedule a consultation with one of the top cancer specialists in the country—at no cost to you. And often these consultations can be done virtually, from the comfort of your home.

Find out if the Carrum Health cancer care benefit is available to you. Check your eligibility.

The information contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.