A healthy lifestyle can help prevent up to 2/3 of all cancers. Making slight changes to daily habits will reduce the risk of developing cancer.
- Do not smoke. If you smoke, quitting will significantly reduce your risk for many cancers.
- Be active every day or try to exercise three times a week, 30 minutes each time.
- Keep to a healthy weight.
- Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and dietary fibre (oats, brown rice, cereal etc).
- Eat food low in fat, sugar and salt.
- Keep your alcohol intake low.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of plain water every day.
- Be sun aware.
Certain cancers can be detected early and there is an 80% chance of surviving a cancer that was found early. There are 8 warning signs of cancer to look out for:
- Any change in bowel or bladder habit.
- Unusual bleeding or discharge from any part of the body e.g. vaginal bleeding between menstruations or after menopause.
- An unexplained lump that does not go away e.g. lump in the breast or in the neck.
- A sore that does not heal.
- Changes to a skin spot, wart or mole.
- Hoarseness of voice or nagging cough lasting more than two weeks.
- Unusual nose bleed, deafness or ringing sound in the ears.
- Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing.
Screening is tests done on healthy individuals to find the cancer at an early stage. The screening guidelines recommended by NCSM are for the early detection of cancer for people without any symptoms. Some people are at higher risks for certain cancers and may need to have the tests more frequently. Talk with your health care professional to find out how these guidelines relate to you.