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How to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

How to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer | Private Medical Insurance

Cancer has touched the lives of virtually everyone in some way or another. Perhaps you've experienced the loss of a friend or family member, or supported someone in their cancer journey.

The statistics about cancer are nothing short of startling. Globally, it stands as the second most prevalent cause of death – in 2020, it sadly claimed the lives of nearly 10 million individuals.

There are so many different types of cancer, and several lifestyle factors can aid prevention and risk reduction.

Weight Management

Excess weight has been associated with heightened susceptibility to 13 distinct cancer types. If you’re considered overweight or obese, taking proactive steps to manage your weight can be a positive step forward in reducing your risk of developing cancer later on in life.

If you’re looking to lose weight, take a look through our guide on building health habits.

Drink less alcohol

Alcohol can increase the risk of 7 types of cancer, and the evidence is now stronger than ever before. Cancer Research UK suggests that scaling back on alcohol consumption directly correlates with risk reduction. There are other health benefits associated with reducing your alcohol intake too, from reducing high blood pressure to preventing liver disease. Start by understanding your alcohol units and knowing the guidelines.

Nutrition

Previous expert advice suggests that diets rich in red and processed meats, alongside high-sodium foods, may elevate cancer risks. According to Macmillan, opting for a healthy diet could potentially avert up to one-third of cancer cases.

For some inspiration, take a look at our eat-well guide to maintaining a balanced diet.

Smoking

Did you know that tobacco smoke contains at least 600 different substances, many of which are known to cause cancer? When smoke is inhaled, the chemicals enter the lungs and blood stream. These chemicals are then transported around the body, which is why smoking is related to many cancers beyond lung cancer and mouth cancer.

If you are looking to stop smoking, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. There are a range of services to help you stop smoking – the NHS offers a number of resources, while General & Medical customers can access support through the Health & Wellbeing site.

Symptoms of Cancer

The symptoms of cancer can vary widely depending on the type and stage of the disease. Early detection is crucial, as many cancers show subtle symptoms in their initial stages. It's important to pay attention to your body and consult a healthcare professional if you notice persistent or unusual changes, as timely diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve outcomes.

Common general symptoms may include unexplained weight loss, fatigue, persistent pain, and changes in the skin, such as jaundice or new moles.  You can find out more via the Cancer Research UK website.

Private Health Insurance

We can provide cover for cancer treatment with our Essentials Plus, Everyday, Everyday Plus, Lifestyle, Lifestyle Plus and Elite policies. Get your free quote through our website today or call us on 0800 980 4601.

This content is subject to our Disclaimer.

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