February is National Cancer Prevention Month
Knowing the factors that put you at risk for cancer can help you be proactive in preventing it. General risk factors include older age, family history of cancer, using tobacco, obesity, alcohol, certain viral infections and exposure to specific chemicals and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Ways to lower your risk include losing weight, exercising more, wearing sunscreen when outdoors, quitting tobacco and limiting alcohol. By understanding your risk for cancer, your doctor can determine whether you would benefit from earlier cancer screenings such as mammograms or colonoscopies. People who have cancer that runs in their families may want to talk with their doctor about exploring genetic testing.