wikiHow to Avoid Cancer

Three Parts:Avoiding CarcinogensEating Cancer-Fighting FoodsOther Lifestyle Changes

There are various forms of cancer that exist, but all are serious and can kill. Many can be treated, but at present, some still have no cure. Most cases of cancer develop over the course of decades, and can be attributed to various factors in a person's life, like their diet, their genetics, and their environment.[1] This article will teach you some simple lifestyle choices you can make to dramatically reduce your risk for developing certain cancers.

Part 1
Avoiding Carcinogens

A carcinogen is any substance that has been linked with the onset of cancer in both human and animal subjects.[1] Carcinogens do not always cause cancer, and some carcinogens are more harmful than others.

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    Cut down on smoked or pickled foods. Studies have shown that foods like smoked salmon and pickles contain trace levels of carcinogens.[2]
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    Cut out high-fat animal proteins. Opt for poultry or fish over beef and pork, and switch to low-fat yogurts and cheeses.[3] When cooking, using olive oil or vegetable oil rather than butter.
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    Reduce your intake of alcohol.[4] When alcohol breaks down in the body, it releases a chemical that can cause DNA damage, which could eventually lead to the onset of various cancers.[5]
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    Avoid excess sugar. Cancer cells feed off of glucose, which helps tumors grow faster and spread more rapidly throughout the body.[6] Beware of hidden sugars in bread, salad dressings, and cooking sauces.
    • Opt for honey over white sugar when possible.
    • Stay away from artificial sweeteners. Ironically, both natural and synthetic sweeteners may be cancerous. Artificial sweeteners were linked with the onset of bladder cancer in animal subjects.[7]
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    Reduce your intake of acrylamide. This carcinogenic substance appears naturally in certain foods when cooked at a high temperature.[8] Foods that are high in amino acids and/or carbohydrates are prone to developing acrylamide when fried, baked, or roasted.[8] The following are examples of such foods:[8]
    • French fries.
    • Roasted coffee.
    • Toast.
    • Baked goods.
    • Popcorn.
    • Pretzels.
    • Pizza.
    • Peanut butter.

Part 2
Eating Cancer-Fighting Foods

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    Eat brazil nuts. These nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral that helps your body's cells repair their DNA and kill off cancer cells.[4]
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    Add garlic to your meals. Many Americans stay away from garlic out of fear of developing "bad breath," but it turns out that the odor may be well worth it. The sulfer in garlic has been shown to boost the immune system's response to cancer and even reduce tumor growth.[4] Studies have shown that garlic is especially effective in preventing stomach cancer, reducing its incidence by a factor of 12.[4]
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    Eat cantaloupe. The fruit is a great source of cartotenoids, which have been shown to reduce the likelihood of lung cancer.[4] Cantaloupe also contains Vitamin C, which will boost your immune system.
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    Finish your broccoli. Among its many health benefits, broccoli has been shown to help the body fight off cancer.[4] Broccoli should be eaten steamed or eaten raw, as microwaving it kills off most of its beneficial nutrients.[4]
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    Eat blueberries. Blueberries are the number one most powerful source of antioxidants, a molecule which prevents the cell damage in the body that could eventually lead to cancer.[4]
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    Drink green tea. Green tea protects the body against various types of cancer as well as heart disease.[3] Green tea also provides a more stable sources of caffeine than coffee, so you won't "crash" in the middle of the day.
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    Eat fish. Studies have shown that people who eat fish like salmon four or more times per week are one-third less likely to develop blood cancers like leukemia, myeloma, and lymphoma.[4]
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    Buy organic. Organic produce contains less pesticides and hormones, both of which have been shown to cause cell damage and eventually lead to cancer.[2]
    • Shop the organic section of your grocery store or visit your local farmer's market.
    • Remember that not all products that say "all natural" on them are organic. Read labels carefully.
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    Have some neem every day. Research has shown that neem has potential as a cancer prevention agent.
    • Grind some neem in a paste.
    • Roll into a marble-sized ball and consume every day.[9]

Part 3
Other Lifestyle Changes

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    Exercise regularly. Having a sedentary lifestyle greatly increases your risk of developing any kind of cancer. Regular exercise not only improves your overall health, it reduces your likelihood for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
    • For women, moderate physical activity reduces estrogen levels, which have been linked to breast cancer.[4] Even a 30-minute daily walk can reduce your likelihood for developing this type of cancer.
    • If you work a desk job, be sure to incorporate exercise into your daily routine by either waking up early to work out, or using your break/lunchtime to take a brisk walk outside.
    • Consider requesting a standing desk at work, if possible.
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    Practice safe sex. Women who contract the sexually transmitted infection human papillomavirus (HPV) have an increased likelihood of developing cervical cancer.[10]
    • There are two vaccines available to protect women from the most dangerous kinds of HPV.[10]
    • Starting at age 21, women should have routine check-ups with their gynecologists at least once a year.
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    Don't smoke.[4] Cigarette smoking is directly linked to lung cancer. In the US, cigarette smoking causes about 90% of lung cancers.[11]
    • Other risk factors for lung cancer include having a family history of the disease, and prolonged exposure to asbestos.[11]


  • Parents should instill healthy eating habits in their children from a young age.
  • Always be wary of packaged foods that claim to be "natural" or "fat-free." This doesn't necessarily mean they are healthy; in fact, many of them still contain harmful chemicals.
  • Early detection is key in preventing the spread of cancer. You should have routine checkups with your primary care physician.
  • The best way to prevent cancer is to find a healthy level of moderation in your life when it comes to both food and physical activity. Constantly depriving yourself of foods and drinks that you love will take a lot of the joy out of life. Learn to be healthy but enjoy yourself at the same time.

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Categories: Health Hygiene