When it comes to illnesses, nothing scares us as much as cancer. It is arguably the one thing that most of us are afraid of, and that means that a lot of us do our very best to avoid thinking about it as much as we can.
However, the numbers do not lie. There is a good chance that most of us will develop some form of cancer over the course of our lives, and the more we know, the better chance we have of identifying it early and fighting it.
With that in mind, we have put together a quick guide to help you to get to grips with the most common risk factors, the symptoms to watch out for, and the things that you can do to spot them early to give yourself the best chance of successful treatment. Let’s get started.
What Can I Do To Cut Down On My Cancer Risk?
Let’s start with the biggest cause of cancer: smoking. The best thing that you can do to reduce your cancer risk is to quit smoking. Cigarettes are the most obvious example, but you are also putting yourself at risk of cancer if you smoke cigars or use chewing tobacco.
It is also important to note that smoking will put you at a higher risk of a wide range of different health issues, so quitting is one of the most important self-care things that you can do.
However, it is not all about tobacco. Alcohol is a major contributing factor to several different cancers, including mouth, throat, breast, liver, and colon cancer. You also need to think about how much red meat you have in your diet, and processed meat.
One of the main reasons why a healthy diet is such an important part of preventing cancer is that being overweight or obese puts you at a greater risk.
How Can I Spot Cancer Early?
It is really important that you are aware of what the most common symptoms of cancer are. You should contact a doctor as soon as possible if you notice blood in your stool or urine, and if you notice any new and unusual lumps or bumps. Women should be checking their breasts regularly, and men need to check their testicles.
However, any new growth or lump anywhere on your body should always be checked out as soon as possible. You should also contact a doctor if you notice excessive fatigue, persistent headaches, a cough that doesn’t go away, skin changes, weight loss or gain that you can’t explain, eating changes, and bleeding or bruising that doesn’t have a clear cause.
One of the best things that you can do to spot cancer early is to go for an MRI scan. For example, it can be difficult to tell whether a nodule on your throat or goiter is harmless or the first sign of thyroid cancer.
A thyroid MRI will provide you with a detailed scan of the area and help you to stop any potential cancer from spreading. Learn more about thyroid MRI scans and other scans by talking to the team at Ezra. They have a wealth of resources to help you understand more and to find the scan option that works best for you.
Can Cancer Be Hereditary?
While many cancers are caused by lifestyle factors, you may be at a greater risk of developing cancer if you have a close family member who did. It is important to note that this does not mean that you definitely will, but you will need to be more aware of the risk factors that you could be facing.
Inherited cancers are caused by faulty genes that are passed down, and more commonly inherited forms include ovarian, bowel, and breast cancer.
Cancers caused by non-inherited factors are significantly more common. However, you should talk to your doctor if you are worried about whether you might be at risk of inheriting these issues. You should also think about getting a regular scan booked in to spot any early warning signs.
What Else Can I Do?
Looking out for symptoms and getting regular checks is a major part of the battle. Making those changes to your diet and cutting out harmful behaviors such as smoking and over-indulging in alcohol will also make a big difference. If you do not exercise regularly, think about getting into a routine.
Being at a healthy weight can really help you to cut down on your risk, so think about what forms of exercise you enjoy doing to help make sure that you stick to it. Finally, remember that it is always better to get something that is worrying you checked out. The chances of beating cancer are much better if you catch it early!
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