This 1 Nasty Habit May Be Increasing Your Cancer Risk
Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases you can get. So it only makes sense that your biggest question whenever you see your doctor is: Am I doing everything I can to prevent cancer? It might be a matter of replacing poor habits with better ones. Bad habits that increase cancer risk aren’t easy to break, but it’s definitely worth a try.
Here are the terrible habits increasing your cancer risk (including No. 1, which is sure to give you cancer), and how you can avoid them.
15. Using talcum powder
If you use talcum powder, check its ingredients to make sure it does not contain asbestos. Repeatedly inhaling this compound has been shown to cause cancer in humans. It isn’t usually used in modern products, but it can’t hurt to be safe and check.
Next: Be careful what you drink.
14. Drinking sweet tea
Tea contains antioxidants, which might help decrease your cancer risk. But sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, lemonade, juice, and sweet tea do indirectly increase your risk of developing cancer. Excessive sugar intake can cause weight gain, which significantly increases cancer risk.
Next: Could this habit be worse than smoking?
13. Skipping exercise
You can make all the excuses you want, but physical activity is worth the effort — especially if you want to decrease your chances of getting cancer. Avoiding exercise can increase your risk of certain cancers, and being active improves your health in more ways than anything else ever will.
Next: Don’t make this destructive habit a nightly ritual.
12. Sleeping with the TV on
This may be a long-standing habit embedded into your sleep schedule, but it’s time to hit the off button. Some research suggests sleeping while exposed to blue light can increase your cancer risk — or, not getting enough sleep because of the background noise could do it instead.
Next: If you aren’t eating these foods, you should be.
11. Avoiding foods containing antioxidants
Antioxidants protect your body as it breaks down with age, a process that can promote cancer cell growth. Humans get a lot of antioxidants from their diets — or, they should, anyway. Make sure you’re eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods to lower your cancer risk.
Next: If your doctor says you should try this, listen!
10. Not trying to lose weight
It’s estimated that almost half of the cancers diagnosed in the United States develop because of obesity. Weight gain puts a lot of stress on your heart and other organs, but it also might lead to more subtle changes, like hormone imbalances, that could eventually trigger cancer cell growth.
Next: This preventable mistake could cut your life short.
9. Not wearing sunscreen
Overexposure to sunlight increases your cancer risk, even if you wear sunscreen but don’t apply it correctly. In addition, experts advise wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and clothing made with ultraviolet-protective fabric.
Next: Your health could improve significantly if you got this habit under control.
8. Letting stress get the best of you
Being stressed all the time doesn’t directly cause cancer to start growing in your body. However, long-term stress can cause you to develop other habits that promote cancer, such as smoking. Adopt stress management techniques to help you cope.
Next: Believe it or not, your dentist’s advice could save your life.
7. Not flossing your teeth often enough
If you don’t floss, you risk developing gum disease. This slightly increases your chances of developing cancer — so listen to your dentist’s warnings. Professionals recommend cleaning between your teeth once every day.
Next: You might need to learn to love these foods.
6. Not eating your vegetables
Among the many foods that might reduce your cancer risk, coniferous vegetables might be most essential. Foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and brussels sprouts have plenty of health benefits, especially as you age.
Next: Try not to eat too much food prepared like this.
5. Eating meat that’s past well-done
Do you prefer your meat mostly charred? Medium-well might be a healthier option. Cooking red meat at high temperatures can trigger the release of cancer-causing compounds, which you probably don’t want to consume too often.
Next: This isn’t the only kind of meat that can destroy your body.
4. Eating processed meat
Cured products like bacon, sausage, and many deli meats go through a kind of processing that might increase your cancer risk. While slightly more nutritious than pure junk food, processed meat might not be worth the risk.
Next: This habit actually isn’t that hard to break.
3. Spending too much time sitting
Do you spend a lot of time with your butt in a chair? You might want to do something about that. Your risk of developing cancer increases significantly if you don’t move throughout the day. Even getting up and walking a few hundred steps every hour can make a huge difference over time.
Next: Do this less if you don’t want to quit entirely.
2. Drinking too much
Drinking excessively can increase your risk for multiple types of cancer. However, low and moderate alcohol intake might actually be good for your health. Try to stick to just a drink or two per night at the most to take advantage of the benefits.
Next: This is one of the most-researched cancer-causing habits.
1. Smoking tobacco
Cigarette smoke destroys your body more and more the longer you keep up the habit. And it doesn’t just put you at risk for lung cancer, either. Inhaling those chemicals can cause the development of cancer cells almost anywhere in your body.
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