The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2018. Included in that number are nearly 37,000 cases in the state of Tennessee alone. Are you doing all you can to prevent cancer? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville wants to share some suggestions.

Control Your Cancer Risk

Some cancer risk factors, like age, gender and family history, can’t be changed. But many of them can be lowered through changes in our habits and lifestyle.

For starters, if you are a smoker, quit. Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death among Americans—and is tied with many types of cancer, including:

  • Cervical cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophagus cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Larynx cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Mouth cancer
  • Pancreas cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Throat cancer

Just by quitting smoking, you can help reduce your risk of developing cancer. Are you ready to say no to tobacco?

Second, make better choices when it comes to how you fuel your body. Many studies have examined whether specific foods are tied with an increased risk, but no definitive evidence has been found. However, a healthy body helps reduce your risk of cancer, so eating a balanced diet is important. Fill your plate with plenty of fruits and veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and a small amount of healthy fats, like those found in fatty fish and olive oil.

Have you ever thought about growing your own foods? Then you’d have access to fruits and veggies fresh from the garden! If you’re not sure how, the Edible Garden Series offered right here in Knoxville can help you become a master gardener and grow your own healthy fruits and vegetables!

Third, maintaining a healthy weight is important. The balanced diet we mentioned above is one way to help you gain control over your weight. Exercise is the other component.

Experts recommend incorporating at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of strenuous physical activity. That may seem like an imposing number, but it breaks down to just more than 20 minutes a day of moderate activity. And you can break that down further into small segments during your day.

Not sure what’s classified as moderate or strenuous activity? The American Heart Association offers some helpful guidance.

And last but not least—make sure you’re getting regular wellness checkups. When was the last time you had a wellness exam? Even when you’re feeling great, these exams help your physician keep an eye on your health through blood work looking at your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Are you overdue for a wellness check? Visit AFC Urgent Care Knoxville today for a complete physical exam to ensure your health is on the right track!