You can take steps to greatly reduce your risk of cancer. Moncrief Cancer Institute can help you out. Here’s how.
Diet & Nutrition
Poor diet and physical inactivity account for 33 percent of cancers. At Moncrief Cancer Institute, we offer research-based nutrition counseling and free interactive cooking classes.
Oncology-registered dietitians meet one-on-one with cancer survivors in our Survivorship Program, sharing strategies to increase well-being and help reduce the risk of recurrence.
We also work with patients to improve energy as they cope with chemotherapy and other treatments.
Our dietitians are available to speak to your group or public education seminar, providing tips on healthy eating. Among the tips you’ll learn:
- Cooking carrots allows the carotenoids in them to be more easily absorbed
- Chop garlic 15 minutes before cooking to improve cancer-fighting properties
- A weight loss of just 5 percent (7.5 lbs for a 150 lb person) can decrease the risk of chronic diseases
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One effective way to lower your risk of cancer is exercise. Of course, before starting any exercise program, obtain a doctor’s permission first. After that, we recommend you choose an activity you enjoy. Walking is a great exercise to begin with, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while.
Wear a pedometer and set a goal of 10,000 steps a day (about 5 miles) as you go about your daily activities.
Through our Survivorship Program, Moncrief Cancer Institute offers one-on-one consultations and training sessions with a specialized fitness trainer at the Moncrief Survivorship Clinic.
If you’ve considered kicking the habit in the past, consider this: Smoking is the single most preventable cause of cancer. Moncrief Cancer Institute offers an 8-week program to help smokers or other tobacco users quit.
The program has three parts: individual support sessions, medication to help you quit, and an education and support group.
If you stop smoking now, regardless of your age, you will begin to heal in the following ways:
- 20 minutes after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood will drop to normal
- 24 hours after quitting, your lungs will start to clear out the mucus and other debris caused by smoking
- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting, your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve
- 1 year after quitting, your risk of heart attack decreases to about half that of a smoker
Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of all cancers in the U.S., and the number of cases continues to rise.
While healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly way, cancer cells grow and divide in a rapid, haphazard manner. This rapid growth results in tumors that are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Physicians and professional medical organizations like the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you take the following precautions:
- Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater 30 minutes before sun exposure and every few hours thereafter
- Wear sunglasses with total UV protection
- Wear protective clothing and hats
- Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
- Perform self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths and contact your physician if you notice any changes
- Be a good role model and foster skin cancer prevention habits in your children; 80 percent of a person's sun exposure is acquired by the age of 18
For more information on skin cancer prevention, visit these sites: