​Cancer prevention

According to the National Cancer Institute, 41 percent of men and women born in the U.S. today will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their life.

That's why a healthy lifestyle and cancer screenings are so important - it's easier to prevent cancer than cure it.

Healthy habits help prevent cancer

Many people believe that getting cancer is just bad luck. But cancer depends on a combination of our genes, our environment and how we live our lives.

Things around us, such as UV rays from the sun or the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco can damage our DNA. DNA tells our cells what to do. If damage builds up, our cells may start to multiply abnormally. That's how cancer starts.

You can reduce the risk of getting cancer or a blood disorder by:

  • Eating healthy foods

  • Exercising regularly

  • Limiting alcohol

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Minimizing your exposure to radiation and toxic chemicals

  • Not smoking or chewing tobacco

  • Reducing sun exposure, especially if you burn easily

Family history of cancer and inherited genes

Some people inherit damaged DNA from their parents, which can give them a higher risk of certain cancers. For example, the BRCA genes are linked with breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers.

Genetic testing helps you find out if you have a genetic mutation that may lead to cancer. Ask your doctor about which cancers have tests available, what the results mean, and things to consider before you get tested.