Cancer prevention

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
We don't know what causes all cancers, but we do know that lifestyle changes can greatly reduce your risk of some cancers. Smoking causes more than 80 percent of lung cancer deaths. Smoking also increases your risk of many other cancers, including cancer of the cervix (SIR-vix), kidney, bladder, mouth, throat, esophagus (e-SOF-a-gus), pancreas (PAN-cree-us), and larynx (LARE-inks). Using smokeless tobacco greatly raises your risk of oral and throat cancer. Another way to help prevent cancer is to keep a desirable body weight and limit your total fat intake. A high-fat diet is linked to a higher risk of colorectal (co-lo-REK-tal) and prostate cancer. Being excessively overweight can increase your risk of dying from prostate or other cancers. In addition, eating high-fiber foods such as whole grain breads and cereals, dried peas and beans, and fruits and vegetables--especially dark green and dark yellow vegetables and citrus fruits--can reduce your risk of colon, lung, and other cancers. Limit the pickled, smoked, or cured foods you eat to lessen your risk of stomach cancer. Limiting the alcohol you drink can reduce your risk of mouth and throat cancer. Exposure to certain industrial agents such as asbestos and other chemicals is also linked to cancer. Avoid exposure when possible and follow work and safety rules. This includes use of household chemicals such as solvents, paint thinners, and pesticides. For more information about cancer prevention, contact your healthcare provider.

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