Recently, new figures were released regarding the incidence of cancer in the United States. One in three of us will receive that diagnosis at some point during our lifetimes, with about ninety percent of those cases occurring after age fifty (according to the American Cancer Society).
We all hope it won’t be us, but luckily you don’t have to rely solely upon hope. While some people face an increased risk of cancer due to factors they can’t control, such as genes or environment, there are steps you can take to reduce your odds of ever facing this diagnosis.
- Maintain a healthy weight – if you stay within your recommended weight range, you can reduce your odds of cancer by about 18 percent
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in processed meats, sugars, and deep-fried foods
- Exercise at least 30 minutes per day
- Avoid alcohol entirely, or at least cut back
- Don’t smoke, as one in three cancer cases is related to smoking
- Avoid secondhand smoke
- Avoid carcinogenic chemicals, and follow all safety recommendations to reduce exposure if you must use them
- Have your home tested for radon, and avoid other forms of radiation
- Watch out for sunburns, as they increase your risk of skin cancer
- Take precautions against viruses that can trigger cancer, such as HPV, which is communicated through unprotected sexual activity
- Use medications when absolutely needed, but talk to your doctor about other options that are available to you, because occasionally prescription drugs are found to be possibly carcinogenic after long periods of use
- For women, breastfeeding reduces breast cancer risk, so consider this choice if you have kids
- Avoid hormone replacement therapy unless it is absolutely necessary
- Engage in regular, honest conversations with your doctor about your risks and choices you can make to avoid various types of cancer
- Attend all recommended screenings – while they don’t prevent cancer, they can lead to early detection and therefore more effective treatment
Each individual’s risk of cancer comes from a variety of potential situations and choices, such as genetics, environment, diet, lifestyle, and more. Sometimes, bad luck seems to play a role. If you’re concerned about your risk of developing cancer in the future, you should know that it is possible to add a supplemental cancer insurance policy to your existing healthcare coverage at any time. You don’t need to wait for Open Enrollment to elect this type of coverage.
In the event that you are ever diagnosed with cancer, your cancer policy could help to pay for co-pays, deductibles, hospital stays, diagnostic tests, and various treatments and procedures. Some policies even cover lost income, or expenses like childcare and travel if you need to go somewhere to obtain treatment. Call us to discuss your concerns, and we can help match you with a policy that addresses your needs in the event that this unfortunate situation should ever arise.