Healthy Habits That Can Help Prevent Cancer

Did you know that it’s possible to reduce the risk of cancer by adopting certain healthy habits? Although many Americans will develop some form of cancer over their lifetime, doctors have been making great inroads when it comes to understanding how to prevent, treat, and diagnose cancer. 

Thankfully, people don’t need to simply wait around and hope they don’t develop cancer. There are many steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing different kinds of cancer. This is great news as cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide and leads to millions of deaths every year. Fortunately, at least a third of common cancers are preventable. 

So what are some healthy habits we can adopt to reduce the risk of developing cancer? Keep reading to learn more! 

Avoid Smoking

As you may already know, smoking can significantly elevate the risk of developing a variety of cancers. This includes cancer of the throat, mouth, pancreas, lung, kidney, and bladder. Different types of poisons in cigarette smoke hurt the body’s immune system and make it more difficult to fight back and kill cancer cells. These poisons can also damage or change the body’s DNA cells, causing tumors to grow out of control. 

The best way to avoid these dangers is to avoid or quit smoking. Quitting can significantly help reduce the risk of developing cancer as time progresses. Over ninety percent of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking cigarettes or exposure to secondhand smoke. 

Visit Your Doctor Regularly

Taking the time to get regular doctor check-ups is a great way to monitor cancer risk. By getting cancer screenings, you can test for common types of cancer and detect them early. Early detection is very helpful in treatments and makes it more likely for individuals to beat their cancer diagnosis. 

Cancer screenings and early detection efforts are especially important for individuals that are at high risk for certain types of cancer. Ask your doctor which screenings may be best for your individual situation.  

Get Important Vaccinations

Certain types of vaccinations can actually help prevent cancer development in the body. For example, the hepatitis B vaccine can help people at risk prevent or reduce their risk of developing liver cancer. The HPV vaccine can also help prevent cervical and genital cancers, along with squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. 

Maintain a Healthy Body Weight 

Keeping your body weight within a healthy range can also reduce your risk of developing many types of cancer such as breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Effective body weight management can be accomplished by developing healthy habits when it comes to eating and exercising. 

A diet filled with an assortment of nutritious foods should include:

  • Lots of vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Nuts 

It’s also important to avoid eating lots of processed and unhealthy foods that are filled with refined carbohydrates, harmful fats, and too much sugar. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to cut down on foods such as: 

  • Sugary sodas
  • High-sugar cereals
  • Highly processed bread
  • Fried foods 
  • Processed meats 

Staying active and exercising regularly can also help prevent cancer and keep your weight in a healthy range. Exercise makes it easier for your body to regulate hormones, digest food, and reduce toxins in the body. 

The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Try to mix up the two types and split that time up throughout the week as you prefer. 


In conclusion, there are many great ways to help prevent or reduce your risk of developing cancer. Healthy habits are key to doing so and can improve your well-being in a variety of ways that boost the body’s immune system. 

Eliminate your exposure to cigarette smoke as much as possible and try to reduce your consumption of unhealthy foods as well. Instead, focus on increasing your intake of nutritious foods and the time you spend being active and exercising.