Though not all cancers can be prevented, there are steps seniors can take that may help to prevent some. Lifestyle factors have a great deal to do with getting cancer and though, as we age, the risk factor increases, following the tips below will give you a better chance of avoiding cancer.
- Watch your diet. Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and these are crucial to have in your daily diet and lots of them! Green, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables are the most important but variety counts. Grapes, blueberries and other berries are also extremely healthy and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage should be included in meals as much as possible.
- Avoid red meat. Red meat tends to have a high amount of animal fat which puts you at risk for cancer, especially colon cancer. It also adds calories to your diet and increases the chances of obesity, also a cause of cancer. Stick to low fat selections of poultry and fish and avoid too much fat in your diet.
- Cut down on your alcohol intake. Alcohol increases the risk of many types of cancer, even if you are drinking the limit of two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
- Step up your exercise. Exercise is recommended for any healthy lifestyle but it is particularly important if you wish to avoid cancer in your senior years.
- Avoid exposure to chemicals and this includes smoke. Quit or cut back on your smoking and avoid second hand smoke, including the smoke from medical marijuana. If you live in an area where you are exposed to gas fumes, diesel exhaust or other industrial chemicals, including lead, you may want to look for a way to move from that area or limit the amount of chemicals you are exposed to. Smoke and fumes are one of the major causes of cancer and this includes the fumes from your car if it is left idling.
- Limit your amount of time in the sun. Skin cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers and it is easily preventable by avoiding tanning beds, wearing sunscreen and protective clothing. If you love to spend time outdoors, try to do it in the early morning hours or in the evening.
- Your family medical history tells you a lot. Many cancers and the likelihood of getting them, are hereditary. If you notice that certain cancers are common in your family, discuss screening and risks with your doctor.
Take advantage of any types of cancer screenings that are available to you, continue to live a healthy lifestyle and you will have a good chance of avoiding cancer as well as many other health problems that arise as you age. Healthy eating, lots of exercise and enough sleep are the three main ways to age well.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult your health practitioner for more information and to address any concerns.