Reduce Your Risk of Cancer this Summer
As the weather gets warmer there are many strategies to reduce your risk of cancer.
Summer is a great time to increase your physical activity, which can reduce your risk of both colon and breast cancer. CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, the equivalent of 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Try to incorporate physical activity in to your daily routine, such as going for a walk during your lunch break. Remember that you can divide your activity up into multiple shorter sessions throughout the day.
Eating healthier foods also reduces your risk of cancer. As farmer’s markets start popping up, you have the chance to access healthy and tasty new foods. It is best to eat as little processed foods (such as cookies, chips) and processed meat (such as hot dogs, cold cuts) as possible. Instead, increase your fruit, vegetable, whole grain, bean and lean protein intake.
Because you may find yourself spending more time outside as the weather improves, it is important to protect your skin. Skin cancer is currently the most common form of cancer in the United States. While healthy amounts of sun can increase vitamin D levels, too much sun can increase your risk of skin cancers, including melanoma. Follow these steps to protect yourself:
- Use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, which offers both UVA and UVB protection. Apply every two hours, even on cloudy or cooler days.
- Wear protective clothing, hats and sunglasses, and seek shade while outside.
- Stay out of the sun when it is the strongest (between 10am and 4pm)
- Avoid indoor tanning devices- there are many lotion and spray tan alternatives.
Screening is important for skin cancer, and may even prevent skin cancer by catching skin conditions before they progress to skin cancer. Watch for any changes on your skin- new growths, sores, or changes in a mole. Signs of melanoma include asymmetrical moles or spots, jagged borders, uneven color, spots larger than the size of a pea, or any recent changes to an existing mole or spot. Talk to your doctor about any concerns.
To see the Suffolk County Fitness Nutrition Resource Guide, visit:
To see a schedule of farmers markets on Long Island, visit:
For more information about preventing skin cancer, visit any of the following resources: