30 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

There are some grim statistics regarding cancer: cancer is the second leading cause of death in America. About one of every three Americans will develop some form of malignancy during his/or her lifetime. Despite these statistics, doctors have made great progress in understanding the biology of cancer cells, and have already been able to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. But, instead of waiting for new breakthroughs, you can do a lot to protect yourself, by getting regular check-ups.

Early Diagnosis is important, but can you reduce your risk of getting cancer in the first place? Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health estimate that up to 75%  of American cancer deaths can be prevented (!) Here is the List with 30 Simple Ways to Reduce your Cancer Risk!


Stylish, Young Guy smoking Cigarette1/ AVOID TOBACCO Avoid tobacco in all its forms, including exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco use in the US is responsible for nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths: about 80% of lung cancer deaths and 30% of all cancer deaths are caused by tobacco use.

2/ LIMIT ALCOHOL – Research has shown that alcohol can increase the risk of certain kinds of cancer, including breast, mouth, throat, voice box,  and other. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to one to two drinks a day.

 3/ GET TO AND STAY AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT – Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for many cancers, including breast, colon, kidney, etc. You can control your weight through healthy eating and regular exercise.

4/ GET REGULAR CHECK-UPSGet regular check-ups, including the screening tests that can help detect cancer before it causes any symptoms. Screening tests can help detect malignancies in their earliest stages.

Young Girl drinking Water Outdoor

5/ DRINK  FILTERED WATERThere are around 100 Cancer-Causing Contaminants Found in U.S. Drinking Water. Filtered water protects the body from disease and leads to overall better health.

6/ CUT OUT SUGARY DRINKS – Drinking sugary soft drinks could increase cancer risk, regardless of body size, reveals new research from Cancer Council Victoria and University of Melbourne. People who regularly drink sugary soft drinks are found to be more at-risk of several types of cancer than those who don’t.

Clean and Fresh Fruit & Veggies7 / EAT FRESH FRUIT & VEGGIES EVERY DAY – Fruit and vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, which help to protect your body against cancer.

8/ EAT LIGHTLY STEAMED CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES – Cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc. are high in phytochemicals and the antioxidants, which have been proven to reduce the risk of breast, gastric, and prostate cancers.  Eat these veggies lightly steamed because they lose powerful phytochemicals when overcooked.

9/ USE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL IN YOUR MEALS AND SALADSScientific studies have shown that monounsaturated fats and phenols found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) help the body neutralize free radicals, thereby reducing the possibility of the occurrence of various types of cancer. A new study has proven that an ingredient called oleocanthal in EVOO can kill cancer cells.

10/ DRINK FRESH POMEGRANATE JUICE –  This vitamin-rich Superfood is known as an immune system booster and inflammatory agent. Research indicates benefits in cancer, diabetes, fighting viruses, etc.

11/ SNACK ON KIWI Kiwi is an amazing fruit, rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, lutein, and copper.

Two Young Girls at Fitness Club12/ TRY TO WALK OR  EXERCISE 30 MINUTES A DAYMany studies have shown that women who exercise have a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer than less active women. Moderate exercise lowers blood estrogen levels, a hormone that can affect breast cancer risk.

13/ EAT GARLIK – Garlic contains powerful antioxidants proven to remove free radicals from your body. It also boosts immunity, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This Superfood may fight stomach, esophageal, breast, lung and colon cancer.

 14/ EAT WILD SALMONSalmon is packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which are likely responsible for the cancer-fighting effects. Australian researchers found that people who ate four or more servings of fish per week were nearly one-third less likely to develop the blood cancers.

Bunch of Walnuts in Knitted Basket15/ EAT WALNUTS – Eating a handful of Walnuts a day can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Walnuts are great anti-inflammatory food, rich in the polyphenol antioxidants. Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center found that the walnut-enriched diet reduces the number of tumors and the growth significantly.

16/ SIT LESS /  STAND MORE –  According to some new research, people who spend most of their day sitting are at a 24 percent higher risk for colon and endometrial cancer than people who spend less time in a chair. Other research showed that people who spent more time in front of the TV had a 54 percent increased risk of colon cancer than those who watched less.

17/ CUT OUT ALL UNHEALTHY SNACKS  – Eating “fast foods” such as chips, fried chicken, hot dog,  or other processed foods that are high in fat and sugar (like chocolate, crisps, and biscuits) can make you gain weight, and there is strong evidence that being overweight or obese is a cause of 12 types of cancer. Instead, you can enjoy your Healthy Snacks, like fruit, veggies, nuts, dried fruit, etc.

Young Girl reading a Book on the Beach18/ STOP TANNING Exposure to natural sun and tanning beds have been shown to increase your risk for skin cancer. Spray-on tans aren’t completely risk-free either. When high amounts of these chemicals are breathed in, they can create free radicals, which are linked to cancer risk.

19/ TAKE CARE OF YOUR SEXUAL HEALTHThe more sexual partners you have (especially without condom use), the greater your risk of contracting human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can cause different types of cancer. The HPV vaccine is recommended for all tweens at age 11 or 12, for women up to age 26 and men up to age 21. 

Feta Cheese with Oregano and Olive Oil20/ EAT YOGURT, FETA CHEESE  &  GOAT CHEESEEat food rich in calcium. Recent studies have shown that calcium may protect against colon cancer.

21/ EAT FEWER SMOKED AND PICKLED FOODSmoked and pickled foods contain various carcinogens. Try to avoid them. Instead, choose cucumbers over pickles & fresh salmon over lox. 

22/ AVOID PROCESSED MEAT – The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified processed meat as a carcinogen. Processed meat includes hot dogs, ham, bacon, sausage, and some deli meats.

23/ EAT WHOLE GRAINSWhole grains are fully loaded with many plant compounds like fiber, antioxidants, phenols, lignans, and saponins.  that can protect your cells from the kind of damage that may lead to the development of cancer.  

Cheese, Grapes and Glass of Red Wine24/ SIP A GLASS OF RED WINEPrevious studies have suggested that resveratrol — the chemical compound found in grapes and red wine — may have anticancer properties. New studies show that this compound can stop a mutated protein (present in breast cancer cases) from aggregating. 

25/ DRINK GREEN TEASome researchers have found tea drinkers have a reduced risk of breast, ovarian, colon, prostate and lung cancer. The healing powers of green tea have been valued in Asia for thousands of years. Some scientists believe that a chemical in green tea, EGCG, could be one of the most powerful anti-cancer compounds.  

26/ INSTEAD OF UNHEALTHY SNACKS TRY: GOJI & OTHER BERRIES  High levels of antioxidants found in Goji, are responsible for fighting cancer cells. On the other hand, various berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.) have shown promising potential to help prevent cancer. Both Goji and Berries are great  Snacks and Superfoods!

Beautiful White House with an Amazing Garden27/ ENSURE HEALTHY AIR IN AND AROUND THE HOME –  3.8 million people a year die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution. Approximately 17% of premature lung cancer deaths in adults are attributable to exposure to carcinogens from household air pollution. This pollution can be caused by cooking with kerosene or solid fuels. The risk for women is higher, due to their role in food preparation.

28/ AVOID INFECTIONS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CANCER  including hepatitis viruses, HIV, etc. Many are transmitted sexually or through contaminated needles.

29/ CONSIDER TAKING LOW-DOSE ASPIRIN – Men who take aspirin appear to have a lower risk of colon cancer and possibly prostate cancer. On the plus side, low-dose aspirin does protect men from heart attacks and the most common type of stroke.

30/ GET 15 MINUTES OF SUN A DAY – Almost 90 percent of your body’s vitamin D comes directly from the sunlight—not from food or supplements. Studies have shown that a vitamin D deficiency can reduce communication between cells, allowing cancer cells to spread. Vitamin D may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and other malignancies.

Young Couple with Little Girl

These 30 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk can be both beneficial to you and your family. Start making these changes in Your Diet & Lifestyle today!

Let’s have a look at the main Cancer risk factors!


1/ Smoking and Tobacco use – 30%

2/ Obesity –  30%

3/ Lack of exercise –  5%

4/ Family history of cancer – 5%

5/ Viruses (hepatitis, human papillomavirus) – 5%

6/ Carcinogens in the workplace – 5%

7/ Excessive alcohol consumption – 3%

8/ Environmental pollution – 2%

9/ Excessive exposure to the sun – 2%

10/ Salt, food, additives, contaminants – 1%

Read more regarding Foods that Fight Cancer…

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12 thoughts on “30 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk”

  1. These are some great suggestions. I have lost many family members to cancer over the last few years. I always thought it could only have been environmental. Now I see there are many other options and great care should be taken to monitor your diet and exercise.

    • Hello Eric,

      I have also lost my closest family members and my best friend to cancer.
      We need to learn more about this disease and do our best in order to protect ourselves and our families. A huge progress has been made regarding diagnoses and treatment of cancer, but…. people still don’t do whatever it takes, and then, try to fix things when it’s too late…

  2. Wow! 1 in 3 being diagnosed, and 75% of those cases being preventable are staggering numbers.
    Being aware and knowing what’s needed is a big deal!
    Your post certainly turns us in the right direction.
    Thanks for the clear and to the point info!

  3. Hello Vesna,

    This was a very good read! I found different things I didn’t know and would love to explore more… I also like how you broke down the percentages of each item that can lead to cancer risk.

    Wish you all the best!



  4. Great article Vesna! This is something everyone should read and what is even more important – apply. These 30 ways to reduce cancer risk are really simple, but unfortunately, the majority of people are used to the unhealthy lifestyle and find it hard to get out of it.
    The filtered water is something I’ve been thinking of for a while and it’s time to finally do something about it now. Thanks for the valuable information. Cheers!

    • Thanks a lot, Blanka!:) I agree with you that the majority of people are used to the unhealthy lifestyle. Even worse – the majority of young people are used to that kind of lifestyle.
      And Yes – the filtered water is a must.

  5. Love your article. Some of the strategies are really simple and do-able, others require more effort in terms of lifestyle changes, but definitely worth it, in order to reduce our cancer risks. Such a timely reminder for everyone out there.


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