You Can Lower Your Risk of Cancer

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the leading cause of death with about 1 in 3 cases being preventable. But, you can lower your risk of getting many common kinds of cancer by making some healthy choices.

If you are overweight or obese, losing weight is one of the best ways to help prevent cancer. Being overweight increases the chances of several types of cancer including esophagus, pancreas, colon, kidney and thyroid gland. It has been estimated, if everyone in the U.S. cut their body mass index (BMI) by 1%, potentially 100,000 cancer cases could be preventable.

Red meat, cured meats like bacon, hot dogs, and lunchmeat have been linked to a higher risk of colon and stomach cancers. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends not more than 18 ounces a week.

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer in the U.S. Wearing sunscreen (SPF) of 30 or higher, can prevent ultraviolet radiation from the rays of sun. Most cases are found and treated early, but they can be life-threatening if they spread to other parts of the body.

Eating a healthy diet of at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancers of the mouth, throat, windpipe and esophagus. Taking supplements may help, but eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and grains is the best way to prevent cancer. Avoiding food and drinks high in sugar and calories will help maintain your weight and possibly prevent cancer.

Exercising can help prevent cancer of the colon, breast and cancer. When you exercise, your body uses more energy, digests food faster, and prevents a buildup of some hormones that are linked to cancer and help prevent other diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

If you smoke, give it up. Although in the 1960’s more than 40% of people smoked, the number has dropped to about 15% of the population, but tobacco is still the number 1 cause of preventable death in the U.S. Drinking too much alcohol raises the risk of throat, stomach, colon, liver, and breast cancers and causes damage to the tissues, liver and cells. Men should not have more than 2 drinks per day and women, one drink.  

Get vaccinated. People who get Hepatitis B are 100 times more likely to get liver cancer. Getting the vaccine helps prevent infection in people who are at high risk for getting hepatitis B.  It is also recommended girls between the ages of 9 and 26 and boys between 9-21 be vaccinated for HPV (Human papilloma) since contracting this virus puts one at risk for certain cancers.

Finally, getting screening tests regularly is one of the best ways to prevent cancer. There are a variety of tests that can check for different types of cancer like breast, cervical, colon, prostate, lung, or skin. The sooner the cancer is detected, the better the chances of recovery.

  • On May 2, 2024, from 12:30pm-1:30pm, St. Therese of Lisieux will host a lecture by Danielle Marshall, from Karmanos Hospital, on “A Healthier You: How to Live Better with Cancer Screening and Prevention”. We hope you will join us for an informational presentation on cancer prevention. Please RSVP the Parish Secretary at 586-254-4433 or Marilyn Cito, Parish Nurse at 586-254-4433 #Ext #320 or via email at since a light lunch will be served. Hope to see you there!


  • WebMD, Lower Your Risk of Cancer, Medically Reviewed by Nicole Swiner, MD. November 30, 2022.