February is National Cancer Prevention Month, so now is a great time to talk about how to prevent cancer. To be honest, we aren’t doing a very good job of this in our society. The lifetime risk of developing cancer has been steadily rising, to the point that roughly 40% of the population will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Why are we seeing so much cancer today?

Stegall

STEGALL

You might wonder if cancer is simply due to genetic causes, but that is actually a very small cause of cancer today (about 5% based on most estimates). Rather, cancer is mostly due to poor lifestyle choices.

If you want to significantly reduce your odds of developing cancer, be sure to eat a plant-based diet full of fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains. Organic is best. Avoid processed, sugary food. Drink plenty of clean, filtered water. Exercise regularly. Don’t smoke. Enjoy alcohol in moderation. Get plenty of sleep. Seek to minimize stress. Embrace a strong support system of family and friends.

Oh, and be sure to see your doctor for regular check-ups, including the recommended cancer screening tests. Hopefully you won’t get cancer, but if you do, early detection is key.

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