Tips on What You Can Do to Control Cancer

02-02-2017 8:42 AM

A cancer diagnosis can bring on feelings of despair and powerlessness.

In honor of World Cancer Day on Feb. 4, we want to remind you that you do have some control.

More than one-third of cancers are preventable through lifestyle changes per the American Institute of Cancer Research. So, let’s do what we can to lower our risk and maintain a healthy body.

What Can You Do?

  1. If you smoke, stop. Even if you’ve been smoking for years, you’ll make a huge impact on your health and those around you. You’ll increase your life expectancy and improve your quality of life.

  2. Stay physically active. Find an activity you love, and do it regularly. You’ll find more options than ever! Dance, cardio, weights, barre, yoga, spin … find all that and more. Many times, studios will let you try a class for free. Look at churches too — especially those with fitness centers. They often have the cheapest deals in town. And there’s no pressure to join the church. I’ve participated in Zumba classes at a church with ladies of all faiths.

  3. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increase the risk of 10 cancers: bowel, breast, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic, esophagus, kidney, liver, advanced prostate and gallbladder cancers.

  4. Limit red meat and avoid processed meat.

  5. Reduce your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is strongly linked with seven cancers: mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, bowel, liver and breast.

  6. Use sunscreen and reduce radiation will lower your risk of many skin cancers.

  7. Take advantage of cancer screenings. Early detection saves lives. Check out the Center for Disease Control’s screening tips.

If you are diagnosed with cancer, take control of your own journey. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about managing side effects of the treatment or oncology nutrition. You may also benefit from oncology counseling. If your area doesn’t have something similar, Cancer Care offers free, nationwide support. Call 800 813 HOPE (4673) or email

Thanks to World Cancer Day and the American Institute for Cancer Research for providing this information. You can find much more on their websites.

Don’t forget to pass this information along to your friends and family!

Stacy Graves is contributing editor of The Mary Kay Foundation℠ blog. Stacy loves to hear from you. You can connect with her at, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest.