8 Ways to Lower Your Cancer Risk

An older couple rides their bikes on the beachCancer is now the leading cause of death among Latinos, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. As common as it is, many Latinos who lack health insurance cannot afford the proper care for screenings and preventative care. Therefore, taking control of caring for oneself is of utmost importance and is more affordable in a preventative, natural state than correcting the problems later in life.

1. Screenings

As mentioned above, there are many Latinos without health insurance and unable to afford mammograms or prostate screenings. However, there are many organizations that will do them for free based solely on the fact that  it is needed among ethnic and low-income communities.

Screenings do not prevent cancer, but catch it at a very early stage to keep it from developing and allow for treatments to be implemented right away.  If possible, get tested yearly and talk to your doctor about other situations to take into consideration.

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2. Shake Off the Stress

Asking for Latinos to shake the stress, which comes in the form of coraje, preocupación and angustia, is hard. It has been ingrained in the ways of Latinos since the dawn of time. Although stress may not be a main cause of cancer, it leads people to unhealthy decisions and causes problems like lack of sleep, unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise.

By keeping a clean bill of mental health, will help when it comes to defending your body against all types of problems, including cancer.

3. Deja el Trago

Drinking and alcoholic consumption is almost a staple for many Latino families. Next to food, there is usually some type of alcohol involved at family functions and get-togethers. It has been noted that red wine may be good for heart health however, alcohol puts you at a higher risk of cancer, specifically that of the mouth, throat and esophagus.

Limiting your alcoholic intake to one drink for women per day and two for men will help lower the risk of cancer. If you can, it would be wise to stop all together.

4. Family History

Sit down and talk to your abuela or abuelo, your eldest tía or tío and ask how those before you passed away. If you know about your family history, you may be able to be more cautious about your choices and what you do. A recent example is that of Angelina Jolie and her double mastectomy. Because her mother died of breast cancer, Jolie’s risk of developing it was higher than most people.

By telling your doctor about your insight to your family, he or she can strategically help cut down the risk of cancer development.

5. Take an Omnivorous Stance

There are plenty of foods that help to cut down the risk of cancer. Among them are whole-grains, fibers, fruits and vegetables. But eating non-starchy plants vegetables are among the top cancer fighters. Eating up to 14 ounces of plant based food a day will help in warding off cancer cells.

6. ¡Muévete! 

All forms of exercise help to cut down your cancer risk. Walking is the best and easiest form of exercise for any individual. Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day can cut down your cancer risk anywhere between 30 and 50 percent.

7. Stop Smoking! 

As common as this information is, lung cancer kills more people every year than any other cancer. About 160,000 people die yearly due to lung cancer and the majority of the deaths are due to smoking.

Smoking has been tied to a variety of other cancers and is the cause of 30 percent of all cancer deaths over all. This is why doctors tell you to quit, cut back or never start.

8. Cut the Fat

Obesity is behind about 14 percent of cancer deaths and behind three percent of new cancer cases every year. Staying within a healthy weight range is the primary way of cutting your risk of cancer. Being overweight is tied to a variety of cancers namely esophageal, pancreatic, gall bladder, breast, endometrial and kidney cancers.

Taking your health into control and implementing some of the tips listed above will help you on your way to a healthier you with less health risks.