According to the National Cancer Institute (a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services), approximately 39.5% of women – nearly four in 10 – will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.
The most common forms of the disease in women are skin, lung, breast, colorectal, cervical, and ovarian cancers. Risk factors include age, a personal or family history of cancer, certain viral infections such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), exposure to radiation or specific chemicals, and certain lifestyle choices.
Let’s talk about some of the key ways in which you can help avoid getting cancer, and where you can go in Syracuse for outstanding OB/GYN care.
How Can I Prevent Cancer?
You can reduce your cancer risk – or improve your chances of beating the disease if you are diagnosed – by taking certain preventive health measures, which can also enable you to live a longer and healthier life. These include:
- Get screened for cancer regularly. Being tested regularly for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, and possibly also lung cancer can not only put your mind at ease, but also catch certain cancers early when they are easier to treat successfully. This involves getting mammograms, Pap smears, colonoscopies, and X-rays, respectively – when your doctor recommends that you do so.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity or being overweight is a risk factor for cancer and other health issues. You can help avoid this risk by controlling your weight through regular exercise and healthy eating habits. That may sound boring, but it’s not boring to be healthy and look great!
- Find time to exercise regularly. Not only does frequent physical activity reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and colon cancer, but it also lowers your risk of developing other serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity throughout the week.
- Eat well. Numerous studies indicate a link between consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and poultry, and a lower risk of developing certain cancers. Avoid processed foods and fatty red meats, as these are linked to a higher risk of developing certain cancers. To play it safe, eat at least two and a half cups of vegetables and fruits daily; eat less fatty beef and pork; fewer sweets; and replace white rice with brown rice.
- Avoid tobacco use, and limit your consumption of alcohol. As many as 80% of lung cancer deaths and 30% of all cancer deaths are attributed to tobacco use, so don’t smoke. Research also shows that the more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk for breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and rectal cancer. If you must indulge, limit your consumption to no more than one drink (equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or one and a half ounces of 80-proof liquor) per day.
Women’s Health Doctor in Syracuse, New York
In addition to providing a wide range of women’s urologic and gynecologic healthcare options, University OB/GYN Associates has a Gynecologic Oncology division that provides comprehensive care for women with cancer of the reproductive system. Our gynecology oncologists offer an extensive range of diagnostic and therapeutic options for women, including:
- Genetic testing
- Laparoscopic surgery
- Radiation therapy
The medical specialists at University OB/GYN Associates also participate in clinical trials with the National Cancer Institute, which offers patients access to the latest advances in treatment of gynecologic cancers.
To learn more about breast cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, or ovarian cancer, visit our online patient library. To schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN or a gynecologic oncologist here in Syracuse, New York, call University OB/GYN Associates today at (315) 464-5162. We look forward to seeing you!