Simple Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Cancer Risk

When it comes to cancer, there’s not a lot of good news out there. It’s an anxiety-inducing and often terrifying subject to discuss, and we tend to think of cancer as both inevitable and fatal. But thanks to some significant scientific advancements, we know that neither of those things is necessarily true anymore. In fact, the reality is that more than half of all cancer types are actually preventable. But even with all those medical discoveries, most medical professionals still say that lifestyle changes can make the biggest difference. Those include quitting smoking and getting more exercise (there’s a reason you don’t see very many elderly, overweight smokers). So if you smoke or are overweight, stop. That said, we completely understand that those lifestyle changes fall into the category of “simple but not easy,” or “easier said than done.”

One thing that’s not too hard to do is to pay attention to your symptoms and schedule regular visits with your healthcare provider. Since we’re talking about cancer here, let’s take brain tumors, which can be particularly tricky to diagnose. If you’re suffering from unexplained headache, seizures, vision or hearing loss, and suspect you may have a neurological issue, consult with a specialist like Dr. Hrayr Shahinian of the Skull Base Institute.

If you want to decrease your chances of ever getting a tumor, here are a few more tips you may not have considered:

Drink coffee like there’s no tomorrow
No, seriously. Coffee, not tea, can actually prevent some types of cancer. A five-cup-a-day habit reduces the risk of brain cancer by as much as 40%, and pharynx and mouth cancer by nearly that much, according to a 2010 British research study. The brand doesn’t make any difference–the only rule is that the coffee be caffeinated. People who drank the same number of cups per day of decaf showed no risk reduction.

While this is truly good news for espresso addicts, side effects of this cancer-preventing treatment might be dental stains and coffee breath.

Learn to love sauerkraut
Do you love hot dogs? Well, there’s some question about whether the nitrites in them could be hazardous. But that hot dog may actually help you prevent cancer–if you put a little sauerkraut on it. Better yet, make that a lot. Reader’s Digest recently cited a Finnish study that found that the fermentation process involved in making sauerkraut produces several other cancer-fighting compounds, including ITCs, indoles, and sulforaphane.

Stay away from the dry-cleaners
I don’t just mean to avoid dry-cleaning your clothes. You should absolutely stop doing that. I mean stay away from the vicinity of a dry-cleaner if you can help it. Do not get a job at a dry-cleaner. If you happen to live above a dry-cleaning service, move! The culprit is a solvent associated with dry-cleaning called PERC. According to the World Health Organization, PERC is a likely carcinogen linked to brain, liver, and kidney damage.

Unfortunately, there’s still too much that we still don’t know about cancer. And there’s no one thing that will keep you 100% protected. But we do know that there are a lot of simple steps, such as quitting smoking, exercising more, staying away from hazardous materials, and eating all the steamed broccoli you can get your hands on that can go a long ways toward keeping you healthy and cancer-free.

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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