Everyone knows that some activities and habits can increase your risk of cancer, like smoking, drinking, or overeating. However, there are many things we do every day that can also cause our risk of cancer to increase. Cancer is the second leading cause of U.S. deaths after heart disease, so knowing the risk factors and working to protect yourself just makes sense.
The good news is that “There’s major evidence we can reduce the rates of cancer in the population through prevention.” Susan Gapstur, MPH, Ph.D., and Senior Vice President of behavioral and epidemiology research for the American Cancer Society, believes that limiting your exposure to the following known cancer-causing foods, activities, and jobs can help significantly reduce your risk!
1. Sun Exposure
In the summer, laying out on the beach is an extremely popular activity. People take to the ocean in droves to relax and get some sun. But while being in the sun can help you feel good, it’s also the leading cause of skin cancer. UV rays damage the fibers in your skin and can cause discoloration, tumors, and both precancerous and cancerous skin lesions.
It’s never too late to protect yourself from further sun damage and help prevent skin cancer, though! Make sure that you’re wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, avoid as much sun exposure between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (peak UV radiation hours), and make sure you’re wearing protective clothing. Following these simple rules will let you enjoy the sun safely and reduce your risk of skin cancer.