According to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), nearly 2 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer (other than non-melanoma skin cancer) during 2023, and more than 600,000 died from their disease. The AACR also states that over 40% of those cases and nearly half of the deaths could be attributed to preventable causes.
These preventable causes include:
- Excess body weight
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive exposure to the sun
- Not being vaccinated against cancer-causing pathogens
While there are many cancer risk factors that are out of your personal control (age, family history, etc.), these causes above can be addressed by creating or breaking habits and establishing healthier daily rhythms.
Do not start smoking. If you do smoke, make a step-by-step plan to quit by a certain date. Not sure where to start? The Nicotine-Free Living program at the Logan Health Medical Fitness Center offers a no cost support group to help individuals live free of tobacco and nicotine.
Excess body weight and/or physical inactivity:
If you or your provider have concerns about excess weight or a lack of physical activity, develop a plan together to address your body’s specific needs. This usually involves introducing healthier habits and replacing unhealthy ones. Consider contacting a nutritionist or wellness coach to help you identify opportunities to grow in all aspects of wellness. Our Logan Health Medical Fitness Center offers health and wellness coaching that is individually tailored, as well as the Journey to Wellness program, both of which have greatly impacted people’s lives and inspired them to live and feel their best.
Excessive exposure to the sun:
When spending time outside, protect your skin from UV rays by wearing sunscreen and other forms of sun protection such as hats, sunglasses, long sleeves, and long pants. Check your skin often for new marks or blemishes.
Not being vaccinated against cancer-causing pathogens
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can help prevent HPV infections, reducing the risk of several cancers including cervical cancer. Likewise, the Hepatitis B vaccine helps to prevent liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), which, if serious, can cause liver cancer. Stay up to date on your family’s vaccination schedule to prevent these diseases and others.
For more resources and steps you can take to prevent cancer, check out the resources below from the American Institute for Cancer Research.