Jennifer Richards | Contributing Writer | Thursday, 21 January 2016

Leading Oncologist Shares The 5 Best Ways For Young People To Avoid Cancer

Leading Oncologist Shares The 5 Best Ways For Young People To Avoid Cancer

The Debrief: Involves giving up some of the fun stuff...

With survival rates having doubled in the last 40 years, doctors and scientists are working hard to beat cancer. But William Nelson, one of America’s leading oncologists, has said it is best to take preventative measures against cancer, as the treatment is so difficult. His advice came during a Q&A session in Quora, when a 20 year old asked what they could do to avoid getting cancer over the next 20 years. Here’s what he said:

1. Avoid Tobacco

Describing this as 'the most important thing you can do,' William said avoiding tobacco in any form is important for your health. Tobacco is currently linked with 18 different types of cancer, with people who smoke being 25 times more likely to develop cancer compared to those who don’t. 

2. Living A Healthy Lifestyle

Ambiguous - but according to Nelson, this includes getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, as well as controlling your weight. There are also certain foods to avoid, mainly those high in fats and with added sugars. This doesn’t mean never having them, just reducing the amount you do have.

Lowering your alcohol intake is another way to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This follows recent advice from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) that there 'is no safe level of alcohol,' with the recommended drinking units being cut.

3. Don’t Use Sunbeds

Excessive exposure to the sun, which includes using sunbeds, can be incredibly dangerous. This is because it can lead to skin cancers like melanoma. The American Academy of Dermatology also found that people who use indoor tanning beds are 59% more likely to get melanoma, which can then spread to other organs in the body. 

4. Have Yearly Check-Ups

William also urges young people to go to the doctor annually for check-ups. He says it’s best to then follow their 'recommendations for age-related screening.' It’s also important to be aware of your family history of cancer, which you can then let your doctor know. If a certain type of cancer seems to be more common in your family, you may be told to get regular screenings.

5. Check Your Vaccinations

Young people should be vaccinated for the human papilloma virus (HPV) as HPV causes changes in the cervix, which puts you at risk of cervical cancer. You should also be vaccinated for hepatitis B (HBV), which is a liver infection that can cause different liver cancers. If you are unsure about having these vaccinations, speak to your local GP. 

You might also be interested in...

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Sex, Anti Depressants And Hot Flushes: Things You Learn About Your Relationship When You Have Cancer In Your 20s

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Tags: Health