Are you on the right track? Regardless of your age, it's not too late to lower your risk of cancer. Try these healthy, cancer-fighting habits:
- Seek shade. Too much exposure to sunlight makes skin cancer
more likely. Stay in the shade when you can. And when you’re in the sun, wear a shirt, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Control blood sugar. When blood sugar’s too high, it can lead to diabetes. You may be surprised to learn that diabetes puts you at risk for several cancers, including those of the liver, pancreas, uterus, colon, breast, and bladder. But even a blood sugar level that’s slightly above normal—a condition called prediabetes—can raise your risk for cancer. Your doctor will test your blood sugar regularly. If it’s too high, he or she will work with you to get it under control.
- Watch your weight. It’s easy to put on pounds during midlife. But try hard not to. It makes cancermore likely, including cancer of the pancreas, thyroid, gallbladder, and colon. Proper diet and exercise can help keep weight in a healthy range. Your doctor can help you get started.
- No smoking. Even longtime smokers can cut risks of lung and other cancers. If you need help quitting, talk with your doctor.
- Get screened. Experts recommend that everyone born between 1945 and 1965 should get blood tests for hepatitis C. Without treatment, this viral infection is a leading cause of liver cancer and other health problems.
- Rest up. Lack of sleep is linked to weight gain and obesity—even cancer, specifically cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate. Aim for seven to nine hours of good-quality sleep each night. If you have an ongoing problem reaching that goal.