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Cancer Prevention

Many types of cancer can be prevented by following a few simple tips.

  • Schedule screenings
    Screenings are the most effective tool available for identifying cancers in their earliest stages – often before you experience any symptoms. Consult our screenings page.
  • Eat healthy
    Make sure your diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but limits your intake of red meat or high-fat foods. A high-fat diet and obesity raise your risk for numerous cancers (and many other health issues).
  • Exercise regularly
    If you’re overweight, you have an increased risk of colon, kidney and esophageal cancer (not to mention other non-cancerous health issues). The American Cancer Society recommends women aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise at least five times each week. A moderate level of physical activity will cause you to break a sweat and increase your heart rate yet still allow you to carry on a conversation.
  • Consider genetic risk evaluation and testing
    Genetic testing helps identify increased risk for certain malignancies, including breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancer. Our genetic counselors can help determine if genetic testing is right for you as well as provide individualized analysis to help plan recommended next steps.
  • Stop smoking
    Not smoking is the most important thing you can do to prevent cancer. Smoking and tobacco use are associated with 18 different kinds of cancer and approximately 30 percent of all cancer deaths. Smoking also increases your risk for heart and chronic lung disease. There are national programs readily available for advice and support for those who want to quit, and our smoking cessation fact sheet has other tips.
  • Practice sun safety
    When you go outside, avoid long exposure to your skin and wear sunscreen at all times, not just during the summer.
  • Get the anti-HPV vaccine
    Men and women between the ages of 11 and 26 should consider receiving the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. HPV virus has been linked to multiple cancers, including most cervical cancers.