What lifestyle changes can I make to reduce my risk of cancer?

Pallav Mehta, MD
Internal Medicine
Some lifestyle changes that can reduce cancer risk include improving diet and nutrition, exercising, and finding ways to reduce stress. In this video, I will explain how mindfulness is also a key element in fighting cancer.
Avoid using tobacco (smoking or chewing). Eat a healthy diet and avoid eating a lot of processed foods and foods with nitrates. Protect yourself from excess sun exposure that can cause skin damage. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. These have all been shown to decrease cancer risk. Check with your physician to see if there are any appropriate cancer screenings you can do.

Some risk factors for cancer are modifiable, meaning they are things you can change. Modifiable risks for cancer include smoking and using tobacco products, being obese or overweight, not eating a healthy diet or using a tanning bed.

Some risk factors for cancer you cannot change, such as your family history; these are called unmodifiable risk factors. Some risk factors increase the likelihood of one type of cancer, while others can increase the risk of several types. A program like Oncolink’s “What’s My Risk” is designed to identify your personal risk factors, both modifiable and unmodifiable, and help you focus on those you can change, providing resources and tips to make those changes.