Everyone knows that some activities and habits can increase your risk of cancer, like smoking, drinking, or overeating. However, we do many things 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. Cancer fundamentally affects the way our cells grow and divide, changing them in perverse ways. All cancer is a result of damage or genetic mutations in our DNA. Some cases of cancer are out of our control, determined by genetic defects and predispositions that are passed down from one generation to the next.
Sometimes they are spurred by genetic changes we undergo through our lifetimes. We also know that breathing in certain substances, eating specific things, and even using some kinds of plastics increases the risk of developing cancers. 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! Keep reading to learn more about 40 everyday activities that can cause cancer.
40. Increased sun exposure can be damaging to your skin.
In the summer, laying out on the beach is a prevalent 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! Ensure 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.
A rule of thumb is that if you are going to be out in the sunshine for more than 15 minutes, you should be not only wearing protective clothing and sunscreen, but also work to find shade while you’re outdoors Following these simple rules will let you enjoy the sun safely and reduce your risk of skin cancer.