‘I Am and I Will’  this is the theme for today, on World Cancer Day 2020. It calls for personal commitment to reduce the growing impact of cancer.

World Cancer Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths.  This World Cancer Day,  recognizing that our commitment to act will lead to powerful progress in reducing the global impact of cancer.

So how can you commit… what can you do… to reduce your own personal risk?

Good news: Simple lifestyle changes can make a difference. Consider these cancer-prevention tips and act on them today!

Don’t use tobacco

Using any type of tobacco puts you at risk for cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer, including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.

Eat a healthy diet

Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-calorie foods, including refined sugars and fat from animal sources.(use your TLC-Program as a guideline) Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it might reduce your risk.

Avoid obesity.

Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.

Reduce alcohol intake 

If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.

Limit processed meats.

A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, concluded that eating large amounts of processed meat can slightly increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

Be physically active

Physical activity counts, too. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.

For substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine, and if you can do more, even better.

Protect yourself from the sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer and one of the most preventable. Try these tips:

Avoid midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.

Stay in the shade. When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat help, too.

Cover exposed areas. Wear tightly woven, loose fitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for bright or dark colors, which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than do pastels or bleached cotton.

Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours, or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.

Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. These are just as damaging as natural sunlight.

Get vaccinated

Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about vaccination against:

-Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain adults at high risk, such as adults who are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, people with sexually transmitted infections, people who use intravenous drugs, men who have sex with men, and health care or public safety workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids.

-Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys ages 11 and 12.

Avoid risky behaviors 

Another effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. For example:

Practice safe sex. Limit your number of sexual partners and use a condom when you have sex.

Get regular medical care

Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers, such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix and breast, can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening schedule for you.

#IAmAndIWill

So, this 4 February whoever you are, your actions – big and small -will make lasting, positive change. Because, progress is possible.